Police: 11-year-old boy injured in hit-and-run crash in North Bergen

Police are looking for the driver of a gray Ford Explorer with tinted windows.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Oct 19, 2023, 10:21 AM

Updated 268 days ago


Police are looking for the driver of a gray SUV who blew through a stop sign at a North Bergen intersection, striking a child walking to school.
Besides a black eye, a little pain and nerves, the 11-year-old victim from Tuesday’s hit-and-run crash is doing OK. The investigation into who hit him is on.
North Bergen police say they’re looking for the male driver of a 2020-2024 gray Ford Explorer with New Jersey plates and tinted windows. They say he blew through the intersection of 76th Street and Hudson Avenue Tuesday around 8:15 a.m. and hit the child a block away from his school.
The boy’s parents are pleading for him to come forward.
"Just come be responsible. This is a kid this is a human being that we’re talking about here. We just want to find the person. I just want to find peace for him, for our family. I don’t want this to happen to anybody,” says mother Belen Bencosme.
News 12 spoke with residents who live near the intersection and they said they’re not surprised that something like this happened.
Theresa Pesantes' family has lived in this community for 25 years.
"Cars don’t stop for the stop signs or it's hard to come to a full stop because it’s downhill. We’ve had instances where we almost got hit because people were speeding both ways,” she says.
Pesantes tells News 12 there used to be crossing guards at this intersection but because of a shortage, the one who used to man this corner was moved to another intersection, leaving this corner unsupervised.
Courtesy: North Bergen Police Department
"We have done multiple inquiries about getting a crossing guard replaced on this street but there hasn’t been any luck,” Pesantes says.
After Tuesday’s hit-and-run, a crossing guard was back on duty Wednesday morning and at dismissal. News 12 reached out to the town about the alleged crossing guard shortage but did not hear back.
Anyone who might have information about the incident is urged to contact the North Bergen Police Department at 201-392-2100 or email tips@northbergenpd.com.

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