Woman accused of running over 2 Sayreville boys had 30 license suspensions
The 36-year-old Sayreville woman who allegedly ran over two young brothers as they crossed the street to get to school Monday morning has had a total of 30 license suspensions and 11 violations on her record, according to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.
Margaret Cheheli — who allegedly fled the scene, abandoned her car and tossed away her keys — also didn't have a valid New Jersey license at the time of the incident, according to Mairin Bellack, deputy director of communications for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Cheheli was arrested by police after they spotted her a short time later walking on Main Street, authorities have said.
The 30 suspensions were all "administrative" — meaning they weren't immediately tied to charges from motor vehicle stops, Bellack said. Some administrative suspensions could have secondary connections to stops — for instance, in cases where a license is suspended for failing to pay a fine.
A half-dozen of the suspensions were for "failure to comply with court installment" — a failure to make payments a court ordered, Bellack said. Another 10 were for failure to pay administrative fees. One was for failure to make child support payments. Eight were for failing to appear in court. The remainder were related to parking or failure to have proper paperwork such as insurance.
In addition, Bellack said, MVC records showed the 36-year-old Cheheli has a total of 11 violations on her record; the record only reflects those violations for which a person has pleaded or been found guilty. The violations include one for careless driving, three for speeding, one for not having liability insurance, one for operating a vehicle while suspended or revoked, two for operating while unlicensed, one for improper operation on a highway with marked lanes, and two for having no license, registration or insurance card in her possession.
"I can state that at this current time her NJ driving privileges are indefinitely suspended," Bellack told New Jersey 101.5.
Court records show a history of run-ins with law enforcement. In January of 2007, Cheheli was charged with filing false police reports in Neptune. That was downgraded on a guilty plea in municipal court to a charge of obstruction of administration.
In July of last year, she was charged in Metuchen with prescription drug fraud and criminal attempt, but the charges were downgraded to theft and criminal attempt. She was charged days later with filing a false report in Spotswood. No details were available on the final dispositions of those cases.
In connection with the incident Monday, police say Cheheli has been charged with aggravated assault, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash, endangering an injured victim by fleeing and tampering with evidence by tossing her keys after stopping her car.
According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the two brothers, ages 5 and 8, had been in the crosswalk near Our Lady of Victories School just before 8 a.m. when they were struck by a 2015 Dodge Dart. The crossing guard, authorities said, had been holding up a stop sign when the boys were struck.
The 5-year-old suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash, and remained in the hospital as of late Monday; New Jersey 101.5 is seeking an update on his condition. His 8-year-old brother was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and later released.
Cheheli remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.