12-year-old boy dead in Union hit-and-run — Mom pleads for help
UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — Two weeks after a hit-and-run accident left a 12-year-old boy dead, police said the investigation remains active — and the victim's mother urged anyone with information to come forward.
Jeremy Maraj was hit on July 17 before 8 p.m. — by a vehicle described by police as a white commercial van — while crossing Galloping Hill Road on his way home from Irene Hoppe Park.
Maraj, a middle school student, died two days later at University Hospital in Newark.
No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, while not disclosing any further details.
Jeremy's mother, Lisa Jamurath said through organ donation, her son helped save four lives, including that of another child. His donated heart, kidney, liver and pancreas all found recipients.
Jamurath said her son, an animal lover, especially of dogs, "loved helping" and always tried to be there for others who had experienced their own losses. She said his friends shared stories with her at Jeremy's wake and funeral service and it was beautiful to hear the impact her child had on others.
Jamurath also shared a message to anyone with information about the deadly accident.
"He was an amazing kid, and he took our life away from us. If he could just come forward — accidents happen, I understand that. I don't know why the driver didn't stop, maybe they got scared" she said. "You must know you hit a child, you know you hit someone. I just ask you, I beg you to come forward. And if anyone knows anything, I beg them to please, please say something.
Directly after the accident, township police told ABC7 Eyewitness News that they had identified the driver of the van, thanks to the driver's employer. Township police in the same report also said they had retrieved the vehicle. But the county prosecutor's office, which is handling the investigation, has not confirmed those details to New Jersey 101.5 or made any public statements to verify them.
A reward of up to $10,000 still is being offered by Union County Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. Tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477).
The Jeremy Maraj Memorial Fund on GoFundMe started by Jamurath has raised thousands of dollars toward funeral and medical expenses.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, neighbor Tom Ehrhardt also created a "Jeremy Maraj Memorial Fund," for medical and funeral expenses while "excess funds will be donated to the local elementary school," according to the campaign.
Among recent donations to either fund, members of Roselle Park Summer Camp earlier this week collected $2,000 and wrote that Maraj was missed very much at the program.
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