Local/State

Driver charged in Pleasantville crash; other driver critical

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Police say the driver who fled after a head-on crash Thursday, leaving the other driver trapped in the wreckage, is now in custody.

The crash happened just after 10:00 a.m. at Franklin Avenue and Old Turnpike Road.

That's where a black SUV slammed head-on into a white pickup truck.

It happened steps away from the Reliance Medical Group. Laura Bonaker is a doctor there and ran to help the victim.

"We did bag and mask breathing," she told Action News. "And then, as we started to lose his pulse, we started to do CPR. But it took a long time to get him out of the truck."

Rescue crews arrived and had to use the Jaws of Life to get the driver, 53-year-old Jose Matta, out of his mangled vehicle.

"They had to do two doors," said Bonaker. "They had to do the windshield and the post between the front and back seats to get him out."

Matta was rushed to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus.

He remained in critical condition Thursday night, suffering from head injuries.

As the rescue operation was underway, the driver of that black SUV ran from the scene. He was captured a few blocks away, and is now in police custody.

26-year-old Carlos Fermin is charged with Assault by Auto, Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash with Serious Bodily Injuries, and being an Unlicensed Driver of a Vehicle Involved in a Crash with Serious Bodily Injuries.

His bail has been set at $20,000.

Bonaker said this isn't the first time she's witnessed a crash on that street.

"This is a terrible intersection, and we have been begging for a 4-way stop sign for a long time," she said. "We have had problems here before. We have had many accidents here before."

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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new jersey, atlantic county, accident, hit and run, local/state
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