3 killed, 6 hurt when SUV crashes in northern NJ

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A pregnant woman and a child were among three people killed in an SUV crash that left six others injured in northern New Jersey, authorities said Sunday.

The crash happened Saturday night on Route 15 near an intersection in Jefferson Township. Investigators said the vehicle suddenly swerved and left the roadway before overturning, ejecting several passengers.

Lucila Colon, 62, and Tevia Booth, 11, died at the scene, while Julissa Colon, 36, died later at a hospital, Morris County prosecutors said. Julissa Colon was five months pregnant, and her fetus didn't survive.

Colon's sister, Elizabeth Echevarria, told The Star-Ledger of Newark all three deceased victims were members of the same family. Lucila Colon was Booth's grandmother, Echevarria said.

The SUV's driver, 37-year-old Luis Torres of Jersey City, was being held Sunday on $750,000 cash bail. He's charged with three counts each of aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide and five counts of assault by auto.

Jefferson Township police say Torres told them he and his passengers had attended a family gathering that day in Sussex County and were on their way home when the crash occurred. They say Torres admitted he had been drinking beer for most of the day and said he was trying to pass another vehicle when he lost control of the SUV.

He also allegedly told police he was driving along unfamiliar roads and relying on his GPS, the Star-Ledger reported.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Torres had an attorney.

Torres and the remaining passengers _ all Jersey City residents who ranged in age from 5 to 40 _ suffered moderate to serious injuries.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Bad Idea
    The man behind a staged child abduction apologizes for scaring young kids, parents

  • Oso Clean
    An army of volunteers is making sure mudslide searchers get to put on warm, dry clothes

  • Vacation Time
    Two airlines are battling for your business and you're the winner
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.