Tragedy on River Road
SUV kills nurse outside Palisades Medical Center; suspect allegedly flees
by Hannington Dia
Reporter Staff Writer
Oct 01, 2017 | 1713 views | 0 0 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A memorial erected for a nurse killed in a SUV crash Tuesday, Sept. 26. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
A memorial erected for a nurse killed in a SUV crash Tuesday, Sept. 26. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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An SUV jumped a curb and fatally struck a nurse waiting at a bus stop outside Palisades Medical Center early the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 26. Officials identified the victim as Luisa Valdes, 59, from Union City.

According to the press release, Valdes worked at The Harborage nursing home inside the Medical Center. Officials declared her dead at the scene at 7 a.m., a half hour after she was struck. No other injuries were reported in the incident.

A Hyundai Santa Fe struck Valdes, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. The suspected driver, Olvy R. Torres, 36, from New York City, allegedly fled the scene on foot without attempting to assist the victim. Officials said the car did not belong to him, but was not stolen.

A warrant was later issued for Torres’ arrest on charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident resulting in death.

The North Bergen Police Department, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor jointly conducted the investigation. The Secaucus Police Department, the Maywood Police Department’s K-9 Unit, and the New York Police Department also assisted, as law enforcement officials told the press that they believed Torres had gone to New York City.

According to various media reports, Valdes was a mother to three children, and also a grandmother. News reports said she had moved to Bayonne after growing up in Union City.

At the accident site, people left flowers, cards, and balloons.

“Luisa Valdes was a dedicated and valued member of The Harborage Family and loved by our team members, residents, families and patients alike,” said Gary Mignone, Hackensack’s director of communications, in an email. “She was with The Harborage for 27 years. She will deeply missed by all of us.”

Recently, North Bergen installed a traffic light at 77th Street and River Road, a block from the bus stop at 7600 River Road.

The light was installed to improve safety for traffic entering and exiting River Road, according to the township of North Bergen.

As of press time on Thursday, Torres had not been captured. Those with information were encouraged to call the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit at 201-915-1300 or the North Bergen Police Department at 201-392-2100.

Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com

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