Man involved in WNY fatal crash arrested

Driver allegedly had THC in his system

Fernando Batista. Courtesy Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced that Fernando Batista, 24, of North Bergen was arrested in connection with a fatal collision that took place in June 2019.

Batista was arrested on Oct. 21 at approximately 11 a.m. on 65th Street in West New York by members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Unit. He was transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny following his arrest.

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Batista has been charged with death by auto, third-degree assault by auto, two counts of fourth-degree assault by auto, and possession of marijuana.

On Tuesday, June 18, shortly after 12:30 a.m., West New York police officers responded to the intersection of 60th Street and Jefferson Street on a report of a motor vehicle collision. Upon arrival, the officers found that two vehicles were involved in a collision.

One vehicle was a 2002 Acura TL, which was operated by Batista. He was transported by EMS to Palisades Medical Center where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The Acura contained two passengers, Alyssa Matos, a 20-year-old Queens resident, and a 22-year-old male from North Bergen. Both passengers were transported by EMS to Jersey City Medical Center.

The other vehicle was a 2004 Infiniti G35 operated by Richard Henao, a 26-year-old West New York resident. Henao was transported by EMS to Palisades Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. The Infiniti had a passenger, a 26-year-old man from Clifton, who sustained injuries but refused treatment at the scene of the collision.

On June 23, Matos was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt impact injuries of the head.

The investigation by the Regional Collision Investigation Unit determined that the Acura was traveling west on 60th Street and allegedly failed to observe the red traffic signal when it collided with the Infiniti as it traveled north on Jefferson Street. It was also determined by the New Jersey State Police forensic laboratory that Batista allegedly had THC/ Marijuana in his system at the time of the collision.

The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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