NJ man charged with fatal hit-and-run of 61-year-old woman
🚗 A 70-year-old man is charged with leaving the scene after hitting a pedestrian
🙏 The victim worked for a Jesuit high school in North Jersey
⏰ Police arrested the suspect less than 24 hours after the crash
CARLSTADT — A Passaic man has been arrested in connection to a fatal hit-and-run in Bergen County on Friday night.
The victim, identified as 61-year-old Deborah Peko-Lillis, of Secaucus, was crossing Hoboken Road in Carlstadt at around 10:15 p.m. when she was struck by a 2017 Toyota RAV-4, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.
First responders got to the scene soon after and transported her to Hackensack University Medical Center. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The next day, authorities arrested 70-year-old Justinian Cuevasmetemi. The prosecutor's office identified him as the driver of the Toyota and accused him of fleeing from the crash after striking Peko-Lillis. He is being held at Bergen County jail.
Cuevasmetemi is charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal crash and third-degree endangering an injured victim. He was also issued a number of motor vehicle summonses, according to the prosecutor.
🙏 Carlstadt hit-and-run victim worked for NJ Jesuit school
Peko-Lillis worked as a database manager at Saint Peter's Preparatory School, a Jesuit high school in Jersey City.
Michael Gomez, president of Saint Peter's Prep, told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement that Peko-Lillis was a "proud Prep mom" who had worked for the school for over a decade. Her son Kyle graduated from Saint Peter's Prep in 2010.
"The entire Saint Peter’s Prep community is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague Debbie Peko-Lillis," Gomez said. "With a tremendous and generous heart, she left her mark on all of us, forming an unforgettable part of the Prep family she loved so much. Our love and prayers are with Debbie’s family in this difficult time."
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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