Authorities have charged an alleged drunken driver with vehicular homicide after a northern New Jersey car crash that killed two young men and injured two others.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said Wednesday that 20-year-old Harrison Allen was speeding when the crash occurred around 9 p.m. Tuesday. Allen failed to heed a stop sign on a residential street in Maplewood and plowed into a car with four occupants.
Allen, who has residences in Montclair and Livingston, is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of aggravated assault by auto and numerous motor vehicle violations, including drunken driving.
Police said Allen was alone in his new 2013 Chrysler 200 when he "T-boned" the second vehicle in the area of Essex Avenue and South 4th Street. Two Maplewood residents in the second vehicle, 16-year-old Tamir Harry and 21-year-old Kervin Noel, were ejected from their 2001 Nissan Sentra on impact. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Two others in that car, Harry's 20-year-old brother, Tahsir, and 21-year-old Rodney Lovius, were hospitalized in serious condition. They had to be extracted from the crushed vehicle.
Allen was hurt in the crash, but authorities said he suffered the least severe injuries of those hurt in the crash. It's not known if he has a lawyer.
Murray, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to disclose Allen's blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident, or how fast he was driving.
"Driving at an excessive speed, under the influence of alcohol, is not an accident — it's an act of criminal negligence," Murray said.
Essex County Chief of Detectives Anthony Ambrose said the two victims that were ejected from the car landed on opposite sides of a house on the residential street.
One landed about 60 feet from the car on the left side of the home, while the other impacted the home's wrought-iron railing and tore it from its concrete foundation before landing about 35 feet from the car on the right side of the house.