HAWTHORNE - The driver who struck and killed a 58-year-old woman at a Hawthorne farmers market Sunday has been charged with vehicular homicide.
The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office says 48-year-old James Woetzel will also be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
Donna Wine and two friends were struck by the pickup truck after it was driven through a barricade at around 2 p.m. Officials say Wine was dragged for three blocks and died at the scene.
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Witnesses say they screamed for the man to stop, but he kept going. Mike Oates says he and a friend jumped in a truck and followed, yelling for the driver to stop.
At first, they saw only debris under the truck. "We told him to stop," Oates says. "He stops, acknowledges us. He hits the throttle to dislodge the garbage. And he gets to Lafayette, makes a left turn, and a body rolled out."
Oates says Woetzel was upset when he realized what had happened.
The two other victims were treated for minor injuries.
A memorial is growing at the site for Wine, who lived in Hawthorne.
Mayor Richard Goldberg says there are more questions than answers. "This is one you almost hope it was alcohol or medical reason because at least you can make some sense as to what happened," he says. "This is just a senseless thing."
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle commission says Woetzel had his license suspended in 2002 for DUI. He has had five suspensions and 20 other violations, dating back to 1984. His license is currently valid, with no active points. He is being held on $200,000 bail.
Goldberg says that next week's farmers market will be canceled, out of respect for Wine and her family. They are also moving future events to a parking lot across the street. "My concern was whether the townspeople would feel comfortable with shopping in the exact place where the tragedy happened," he says. "By shifting a bit it will give a different feel, and make them feel like they aren't coming to a memorial - but coming back to the farmers market."
A candlelight vigil for Wine is being planned for Thursday night.