NEWTON — Newton Police responded to a report of a serious motor vehicle accident with injuries on Woodside Avenue in front of the Newton Gulf station at 2:21 a.m. on Sunday, December 14.
Upon arrival, it was determined that a 2002 Cadillac Seville being operated by Luciano Sarmiento, 29, Newton was traveling southbound on Woodside Avenue when it crossed over the double yellow line and struck a 2009 Hyundai Accent head on which was being operated by Logan Cates, 18, Parsippany.
As a result of the crash, Cates was partially ejected through the front windshield. Both he and his passenger, older brother Devin Cates, 25, Parsippany were airlifted to Morristown Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. Sarmiento was transported to Newton Medical Center by the Newton First Aid Squad. Sarmiento also had three passengers in his vehicle which were treated at the scene and released.
Newton First Aid Squad, Newton Fire Department, Fredon First Aid Squad, Atlantic Ambulance, Lakeland Ambulance, St. Clare’s Medic 504, Northstar and Med 1 responded to the scene.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Sarmiento was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. He was charged with the following offenses:
N.J.S. 2C:12-1c(1) Assault by Auto While Driving Recklessly (Disorderly Persons Offense)
N.J.S. 2C:12-1c(2) Assault by Auto While Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (4th Degree)
39:4-50 Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence
39:4-96 Reckless Driving
39:3-10 Unlicensed Driver
39:3-29 Failure to Exhibit a Valid Insurance Card
39:4-82 Failure to Keep Right
Notification was also made to the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) due to Luciano Sarmiento being an undocumented immigrant who was involved in a motor vehicle while being under the influence.
Investigating Officers were Ptl. Mahir Kaylani, Ptl. Scott Vertetis, Ptl. Shawn Burke assisted by Andover Township Police.
Case pending an appearance in Sussex County Superior Court on December 31.
Editors note: A complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.