OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors say a man accused of driving under the influence struck and seriously injured a pedestrian and then kept going, even though the victim was lodged in the vehicle’s windshield.
Bail was set at $150,000 cash for Marcos Ortega, a 33-year-old Little Egg Harbor resident. He is charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash and causing serious bodily injury to another while driving under the influence. It wasn’t known Wednesday if he had a lawyer.
Ocean County prosecutors say the accident occurred Monday night on Route 9 in Ocean Township.
The pedestrian, 61-year-old Kenneth Moeller of Lanoka Harbor, remained hospitalized Wednesday in critical condition. Further details on his injuries have not been disclosed.
Prosecutors said that around 6:40 p.m. Monday, an Ocean Township police officer responding to reports of an erratic driver on Route 9 northbound saw what appeared to be a person lying on the hood of a vehicle that was traveling on another nearby roadway.
The officer stopped the vehicle and, as he approached it, saw the victim lodged halfway through the windshield.
Investigators said it appears Ortega crossed into the northbound shoulder of Route 9 and hit Moeller, then continued driving for about 1 ½ miles before he was stopped.
Samples of Ortega’s blood were collected for analysis, but the tests have not been completed.
“It’s incomprehensible that law enforcement would have to reiterate that the privilege of driving includes a driver’s responsibility to report immediately any incident where they believe they have struck or injured an individual,” said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.