A Hillside police officer on his way to work was charged with causing a horrific crash when his pickup went off the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls and crashed into a couple in October.

Angel Luis Acevedo, 40, and wife Daniela Acevedo, 35, of Baltimore, were driving in a Toyota Corolla on Asbury Avenue on Oct. 9 around 7:30 p.m. when a GMC Canyon went off the northbound lanes of the Parkway and onto the road below.

The Acededos were pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation determined John P. McClave III, 33, of Toms River was under the influence of "intoxicating substances" and driving recklessly, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said.

McClave did not try to slow down or change direction as he left the Parkway and went airborne when he reached an embankment, which launched him into the Corrola.

McClave was hospitalized after the crash and consented to a blood draw, according to the prosecutor. He also turned over his cell phone to investigators.

McClave was charged Friday with two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, failure to maintain lanes, failure to wear a seatbelt, and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Asbury Avenue under the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway
Asbury Avenue under the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway (Google Street View)

Hillside police Chief Vincent Ricciardi told New Jersey 101.5 he was "disappointed" in McClave's arrest and that he has been suspended without pay.

"The Hillside Police Department has an effective and fair disciplinary framework in place to hold our officers accountable according to the degree of misconduct. I will monitor the case closely and ensure appropriate actions are taken regarding his employment with our agency upon its conclusion," Ricciardi said.

According to a search of public records he has been an officer since February 2008 and earned an annual salary of $112,022.

Angel Acevedo grew up in Atlantic Highlands graduated Henry Hudson Regional High School and Dartmouth College and worked as an engineer with the U.S. Army. Daniela grew up in Salvador, Brazil, and was a Doctor of Pathology at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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