Union City man sentenced to nine years in prison


A judge sentenced a Union City man to nine years in prison after he pleaded guilty for his involvement in a May 2019 head-on collision on Paterson Plank Road in Jersey City that caused the death of Adriana Riano, 32, from North Bergen.

The Honorable Judge Patrick Arre sentenced Jonathan Ortiz-Guananga, 27, on Oct. 29 to eight years in New Jersey state prison subject to the No Early Release Act on one charge of second-degree Death By Auto to run consecutive to a flat 12 months in New Jersey state prison for a fourth-degree Assault by Auto charge.

After his sentence, Ortiz-Guananga will have his driver’s license suspended for a period of ten years, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, which noted that the victim’s family was present in the courtroom for the sentencing.

On June 27, 2019,  members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit arrested and charged Ortiz-Guananga when he also received several violations, including Speeding, Driving While Intoxicated, Failure to Maintain a Marked Traffic Lane, and Reckless Driving.

Ortiz-Guananga was subsequently indicted with the upgraded charge of Aggravated Manslaughter, a first-degree crime, but that was dismissed as a result of his guilty plea at sentencing.

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

Officers discovered two vehicles involved in a collision.

The first vehicle was a 2008 Ford Edge operated by Riano containing a male passenger, 30.

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

All three individuals were transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center.

Riano was pronounced dead at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Her passenger was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Ortiz-Guananga was treated for injuries related to severe leg trauma.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther 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 state was represented in this case by Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez and Assistant Prosecutor Luisa Florez of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.