Officials ID pedestrian killed in Nutley hit-and-run crash

A neighbor who says the crash happened in front of his home says he saw pieces of the bumper on the side of the road and called 911.

Lanette Espy and Lauren Due

Feb 15, 2024, 10:45 AM

Updated 66 days ago


A pedestrian was killed and another was injured in Nutley Wednesday night when a vehicle hit them and drove off, according to Essex County prosecutors.
Wiston Perlaza, 22, of Paterson, was taken to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 7:12 p.m., Essex County prosecutors announced Thursday. This is the latest in a string of pedestrian deaths in New Jersey.
Officials say the second pedestrian was taken to a hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening. The identity of the second pedestrian was not released.
The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m. on the 100 block of Milton Avenue near the Garden State Parkway overpass.
A GoFundMe has been set up in memory of Perlaza.
One neighbor told News 12 New Jersey that the crash happened right in front of his home. He says he saw pieces of the bumper on the side of the road and called 911.
“I was just watching TV, and I heard a loud noise...thought it was a dog at first and then I saw it, and it was a human body laying over there on the ground,” said Berto Preira.
He says he didn’t see a car - just one person nearby. “We know it was a hit-and-run, but I don't know if they were caught,” Preira.
This crash in the township comes after new data was released by the National Traffic Safety Administration that shows four counties in New Jersey are in the top 10 in the country when it comes to pedestrian deaths. The numbers show over a 5-year period. Essex County had the most pedestrian fatalities with 106.
The cause of the crash has not been released. Essex County prosecutors are investigating the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.

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