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Driver charged after van hits, kills pedestrian

LACEY TOWNSHIP (AP) — Authorities say a man driving with a suspended license struck and killed a pedestrian in Lacey Township.

Patrick Clayton
Patrick Clayton (Ocean County Jail)

Patrick Clayton of Berkeley Township was being held Tuesday on $200,000 cash bail.

The 27-year-old Clayton is charged with death by auto, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash resulting in death and causing death to another while driving with a suspended license. It was not known if he had retained an attorney.

Ocean County prosecutors tell NJ.com  that the accident occurred shortly before midnight Monday on Route 9 in Lacey Township. They say a van driven by Clayton was northbound when it drifted over the center line of the roadway and into the shoulder of the southbound lane.

Two Lacey residents — 37-year-old Marcelo Romano Nolazco and his friend, 38-year-old Jose Sanchez, were walking north on the southbound shoulder. The van came from behind the men and struck Nolazco, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sanchez, who was walking behind Nolazco, was grazed by the vehicle and escaped injury.

Authorities say Clayton left the scene and drove to a nearby restaurant, where he called his girlfriend. Police soon found Clayton and the van at the restaurant. They later learned his license was suspended and he was wanted on three active warrants.

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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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