Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Jefferson Township Police Chief Kevin Craig announce the arrest of Luis E. Torres, 37, of Jersey City , New Jersey, on a variety of charges including multiple counts of Aggravated Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide and Assault by Auto.
On August 24, 2013 at approximately 6:51p.m., Officers Sean Krater and Dave Wojtach of the Jefferson Township Police Department responded to Route 15 South near the intersection of Heller’s Lane for a report of a single vehicle motor vehicle collision.
|Luis E. Torres, 37, of Jersey City
The initial investigation revealed that a 2002 Ford Explorer operated by the defendant, Luis Torres, was traveling South on Route 15 when the vehicle he was operating suddenly swerved and left the roadway. The vehicle overturned ejecting numerous passengers from the vehicle. Nine passengers including the driver were traveling in the vehicle. Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, a third, who was five months pregnant, along with her unborn child were both pronounced dead at Morristown Memorial Hospital. The deceased were identified as Lucila Colon age 62, Tevia Booth age 11 and Julissa Colon age 36 and her unborn child. All were residents of Jersey City. The driver and remaining passengers were transported to St. Clare’s-Dover Hospital with moderate to serious injuries.
Through a criminal investigation conducted by the Jefferson Township Police Department along with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, a Warrant for the Arrest of Torres was signed by the Honorable Stuart A. Minkowitz on August 25, 2013.
The defendant was charged with three counts of Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a) (1), a crime of the first degree; three counts of Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b (1), a crime of the second degree; and five counts of Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c (2), a crime of the fourth degree.
Judge Minkowitz set bail at $750,000 cash, bond or property with no 10% option. The defendant was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.
Anyone with information relating to these charges is urged to contact the Jefferson Township Police Department at 973-697-1300 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200.
Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp would like to thank Chief Craig of the Jefferson Township Police Department along with Captain Wilsusen and Officers Krater, Wojtach, Detectives Kratzel and Geib and numerous other officers of the Jefferson Township Police Department. He would also like to thank the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Rockaway Township Police Department, the Sparta Township Police Department, Jefferson Township Fire Co. #2, the Jefferson Rescue Squad, the Milton First Aid Squad, the Mine Hill Rescue Squad, Atlantic Health Systems Air One and the New Jersey DOT. Prosecutor Knapp also thanks Lieutenant Steve Wilson, Senior Trial Counsel John McNamara, Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo and the members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, all of whom participated in this investigation.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected]