Man charged with alleged manslaughter of North Bergen woman after head-on collision

A grand jury indicted a Union City man on upgraded charges of aggravated manslaughter

The intersection of Paterson Plank Road and Congress Street, near the site of the deadly car collision.
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The intersection of Paterson Plank Road and Congress Street, near the site of the deadly car collision.

A Union City man was charged with aggravated manslaughter after a grand jury indictment for his alleged involvement in an automotive accident that caused the death of a North Bergen woman.

According to the Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Jonathon Ortiz-Guananga was arrested on the charges related to the May 5, 2019 head-on collision on Paterson Plank Road in Jersey City.

Adriana Riano, 32, from North Bergen, was killed as a result of the collision.

Ortiz-Guananga, 26, from Union City, surrendered without incident to members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and was charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter on Feb. 18.

The charges were upgraded after a grand jury indictment charged Ortiz-Guananga with first-degree aggravated manslaughter.

The grand jury also indicted Ortiz-Guananga on the charges of second-degree Death by Auto and fourth degree Aggravated Assault, for which he had been previously charged and arrested.

He was arraigned on all the charges as contained within the indictment on Feb. 18 in Hudson County Superior Court. Ortiz-Guananga has also been previously charged with other traffic violations, including driving while intoxicated, speeding, failure to maintain a marked traffic lane, and reckless driving.

The collision occurred on Sunday, May 5, 2019. Jersey City Police Officers were dispatched to Paterson Plank Road in Jersey City, just south of the Congress Street intersection, after a report of a motor vehicle collision at approximately 7:15 a.m.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the responding officers discovered two vehicles were involved in a collision.

The first vehicle involved in the head-on collision was a 2008 Ford Edge. The vehicle was operated by Riano, containing an unnamed, 30-year-old male passenger.

The second vehicle at the scene was a 2015 Dodge Charger operated by Ortiz-Guananga.

All three individuals were transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center. According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Riano was pronounced dead as a result of her injuries at approximately 3:15 p.m. Her passenger, who was not identified, was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Ortiz-Guananga was treated for injuries related to severe leg trauma. Both the unnamed passenger and Ortiz-Guananga survived the accident.

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit with the investigation and arrest and the Jersey City Police Department for assisting with the investigation.

The above charges are merely accusations, and Ortiz-Guananga is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Dan Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.