Elizabeth officer charged in fatal Halloween crash

Posted: Updated:

An Elizabeth police officer was charged Tuesday in connection with a fatal motorcycle crash, the Middlesex County prosecutor announced in a news release.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said Romulo Meneses-Alvarez, 30, of Elizabeth, was charged with the third-degree crime of strict liability vehicular homicide for causing a death by driving while intoxicated or under the influence.

Meneses-Alvarez is accused of hitting motorcyclist Jairo Lozano Halloween night with his vehicle while Meneses-Alvarez was off duty. Authorities said Lozano, 29, of Elizabeth, was pronounced dead at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth. 

The prosecutor said Meneses-Alvarez was driving a 2007 Jeep Wrangler when he collided with Lozano’s 2005 GSX Suzuki motorcycle at the intersection of Elmora Avenue and Vine Street in Elizabeth.

According to Carey, three other motor vehicle summons were previously issued for Meneses-Alvarez for driving while intoxicated, careless driving and failing to yield the right of way. 

The investigation into the crash is active and continuing, the prosecutor said. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is involved, even though Elizabeth is in Union County, because Meneses-Alvarez used to be a Union County sheriff's officer.

A spokesperson for city of Elizabeth said in a statement, “This afternoon, the officer's attorney has been served with the papers that put him on immediate suspension without pay.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at 732-745-8842.

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