MIDDLETOWN - A dream trip to Puerto Rico for surfing and relaxation has turned into a nightmare for a 33-year-old man from Middletown.
Beau Hendricks has been charged with a fatal hit and run involving the minivan he rented during the visit in 2012.
Hendricks now sits in the Ocean County Jail awaiting extradition to the island, but his friends are outraged and convinced it was another member of the group behind the wheel during the crash.
"It was shattering," says Charles Patrick O'Rourke. "Everybody was freaking out. It was unbelievable."
Friends are standing behind Hendricks. "It's very obvious it wasn't him driving.," he says. "Beau was not driving the vehicle."
Brian Imbriale says the fact that his name was on the rental car is the only reason he is suspected in the crime.
Supporters are raising money for the cause, and are well on their way to their goal of $100,000 to pay Hendricks' legal bills.
They set up a website to collect donations and are planning a fundraiser at the Harborside Grill in Atlantic Highlands on May 25.
"Basically, it's an innocent man sitting in jail for no reason," says Imbriale.
Because that other man has not been charged, attorneys have warned supporters not to mention his name while discussing the case.