Lakewood Man Charged After Helping Driver From Fatal Crash Flee Police

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 27, 2023, Emmanuel Rodriguez-Galindo, 36, of Lakewood Township, was charged with Hindering the Apprehension of Another and Obstruction of Justice.

On July 22, 2023, at approximately 2:25 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the area of James Street for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash. Responding Officers found that a 2007 Honda Civic had struck a utility pole. Officers also discovered that the driver of the vehicle had fled the scene of the crash, and located a critically injured male victim in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The male victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that the Honda Civic was traveling westbound on James Street when it lost directional control and struck the utility pole on the passenger side door. The investigation further revealed that Angel Garcia-Rodriguez, 26, of Lakewood, was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the crash, and that he fled the scene before police arrived. Garcia-Rodriguez was ultimately located at a residence in Lakewood and taken into custody without incident. Garcia-Rodriguez was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash Resulting in Death and Endangering an Injured Victim. He was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where a court authorized sample of his blood was taken. Garcia-Rodriguez was then transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the crash, it was determined by Detectives that Rodriguez-Galindo picked up Garcia-Rodriguez after the crash and transported him to his residence to avoid apprehension. It was also determined that Rodriguez-Galindo knowingly concealed the whereabouts of Garcia-Rodriguez from law enforcement Officers. On July 27, 2023, Rodriguez-Galindo was taken into custody; he is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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