Driver in fatal Rt. 78 crash charged with DWI; victim identified
CLINTON — New Jersey State Police have identified the victim in Saturday's fatal DWI crash on Route 78.
State Police spokesman Sgt. First Class Greg Williams said Ariel Lozano, 32, of Reading, Pa., was killed after being ejected from the 2004 Chevrolet Venture in which he was a passenger in the rear seat when the crash occurred at about 11:58 a.m. near mile-marker 19.6.
According to Williams, the driver of the vehicle, identified as 35-year-old Tiasha Falu, also of Reading, lost control of the minivan and veered off the left side of the roadway. Police say the vehicle spun around and flipped over before re-entering traffic on the eastbound side of the highway.
Williams said Lozano was pronounced dead at the scene at about 12:17 p.m. A 16-year-old boy who had been riding in the front seat of the vehicle also sustained injuries.
"The juvenile was taken by medivac helicopter to Morristown Medical Center," Williams said. His injuries were considered moderate, according to state police.
Following the crash, Williams said Falu, who was also taken to a local hospital by ambulance, tested positive for an elevated blood alcohol level. She was charged with driving while intoxicated, but police additional criminal charges are pending in Hunterdon County. The case is being further investigated by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office, Williams said.
The accident shut down all lanes of the roadway near the exit for Route 22, and also caused delays on Route 22 as motorists exited at Exit 18 to try and avoid delays.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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