Driver charged in crash that killed off-duty Jersey City, NJ cop
JERSEY CITY — Nearly six months after an overnight collision between a motorcycle and SUV claimed the life of a Jersey City police officer, the unlicensed driver of the SUV has turned himself in.
In a release, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said Rafael Rodriguez-Rivera, 30, of Jersey City, surrendered Monday morning and has been charged with one count of third-degree causing death while driving unlicensed.
Officer Morton Otundo was off-duty early on the morning of July 16, 2021 when, according to authorities, his Yamaha motorcycle struck a Ford Escape, driven by Rodriguez-Rivera, that was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Woodward Street in Jersey City.
Rodriguez-Rivera was not identified by name at the time, but was reported to have been briefly hospitalized.
The prosecutor's office said that an investigation found Rodriguez-Rivera did not have a valid New Jersey driver's license when the crash occurred.
Rodriguez-Rivera was released on a summons and is due for an initial court appearance on Feb. 8.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.