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New Milford Driver Charged In Fatal North Bergen Crash

A man was killed in a vehicle collision at this North Bergen intersection early Sunday morning. A New Milford woman has been charged.
A man was killed in a vehicle collision at this North Bergen intersection early Sunday morning. A New Milford woman has been charged. Photo Credit: Google

A 34-year-old Bergen County woman has been charged with death by auto in connection with a fatal crash early Sunday in North Bergen; the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said.

Denisse Ortega of New Milford was driving a Nissan Pathfinder north on John F. Kennedy Boulevard around 4 a.m. when the vehicle collided with a 2012 Nissan Altima at 76th Street, authorities said.

A North Bergen police officer witnessed the crash and assisted at the scene. Another police officer who responded was injured while at the scene and was taken to Palisades Medical Center for treatment.

The driver of the Altima, 66-year-old Mario Santamaria Sr., was taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 5:15 a.m. As of Wednesday, Ortega was receiving treatment at Hackensack University Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators determined that Ortega ignored multiple traffic signals right before the collision, the prosecutor's office said.

In addition to a charge of death by auto, Ortega may face other charges and summonses, the prosecutor's office said.

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