NJ fugitive charged in Christmas Eve crash that killed woman, 81
JACKSON — A fugitive has been charged in the hit-and-run death of an 81-year-old Howell woman. At the time of her crash, she and her husband had been on their way to a Christmas Eve dinner.
The couple's daughter, meanwhile, is hoping to find their dog, which survived the crash but later ran away after it was taken to a relative's home.
Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, of Jackson, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado that struck Norman Shtab, 83, and his wife, Phyllis, about 6 p.m. as Shtab turned left from the Route 195 off-ramp at Exit 21, prosecutors said.
Phyllis Shtab died the day after Christmas at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Alcazar-Sanchez walked away from the crash and has been charged with knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license while being involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Alcazar-Sanchez's girlfriend, Reyna Mendez, 27, of Jackson, was charged with hindering apprehension by giving investigators false information.
Alcazar-Sanchez's passenger, Jose Misael Pementel-Mendoza, 30, of Wrightstown, was briefly hospitalized at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township.
The couple's dog Sammi, who was riding with the couple, remains missing after he was brought to a relative's home at the Oak Tree mobile home park in Jackson, their daughter, Michelle Platzer, said.
Plazter said that volunteers who specialize in helping dogs who may be in “survival mode” have joined the search. They have also brought her parents other car to area where Sammi was last seen in hopes that he'll come out of hiding when he sees a familiar vehicle.
"I’m hoping that he’s somewhere nearby just hiding and that he’ll recognize the car and we leave the door open in the driveway he’ll jump in it," Platzer said.
She asked anyone with information about Sammi to call 732-485-2767.
A funeral for Phyllis Shtab is scheduled for Sunday at the Horizon Funeral & Cremation Services in Toms River followed by burial at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge. Shtab was predeceased by three of her five children.
Billhimer asked anyone with information about the crash to call the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or Jackson police at 732-928-1111.