Boy Who Was Flung Over Fence in NJ Hit-Run Dies; Warrant Issued for Driver

One boy who knew the victims called the driver who fled "a coward."

What to Know

  • The hit-run driver hit the boys, who were on a bike, in Jersey City Wednesday afternoon and fled the scene on foot
  • One boy was pronounced dead at the scene; the second boy, who was flung over a fence, died on Thursday afternoon
  • Two passengers in the hit-run driver's car were detained for questioning, but no charges have been filed against them; the suspect is on lam

The teenage boy who was flung over a fence on an elevated roadway when a car plowed into the bike he was riding with a friend in Jersey City Wednesday has died, authorities said. 

The 16-year-old boy's death comes about 24 hours after the death of his friend, 15-year-old Elionel Jimenez, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the hit-and-run on Terrace Avenue, according to police.

The boy's death comes as police continue to hunt for 20-year-old Rashaun Bell, the man thought to be behind the wheel of the Nissan Maxima that hit the boys. Police on Thursday issued warrants for Bell's arrest; he faces charges of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. 

Police allege that Bell was driving with four people in his car when he hit the boys, who were on a bike together. After the impact, the heavily damaged car continued down the roadway for about 200 yards before Bell and two of his passengers got out and ran away.

The two passengers returned to the scene and were treated for minor injuries; police said Bell disappeared. 

Jersey City police launched a massive dragnet Thursday night and Friday, with officers going door to door to see if anyone was harboring Bell. Police with search dogs could be seen combing the neighborhood late into the evening Thursday in hopes of finding him. 

Meanwhile, the boys' classmates at William L. Dickinson High School were seen hugging one another at the scene Wednesday and crying as they looked on the police tape and twisted metal heap of the bike their pals had been riding.

One boy who knew the victims called the driver who fled "a coward."

"It's completely heartbreaking," added another friend, Ethan Ramos. 

Jersey City Public Schools said in a statement that it will provide support and grief counselors to the Dickinson school community when they return to class Friday. 

"President Joel Torres echoed all of our thoughts and prayers for the families of both young men and their friends and loved one who are coping with this tragedy," Superintendent of Schools Marcia V. Lyles said in the statement. 

On Thursday night, dozens of teens and the families of the victims held a vigil near the crash site. Jimenez's mother at one point called for a moment of silence for her son and his friend. 

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