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Prosecutor Details How Driver Caused Deadly Parkway Crash Then Tried To Cover It Up

Ronaldo Godwin
Ronaldo Godwin Photo Credit: Union County Jail

A 43-year-old Newark man has been charged with causing a deadly crash earlier this week on the Garden State Parkway then trying to cover up his role in it, authorities said.

Ronaldo Godwin was heading southbound behind the wheel of a Range Rover when he struck a Lexus SUV driven by Christopher Meikle, of East Orange, at a high rate of speed around 2:45 a.m. Feb. 15,  members of the Union County Prosecutors Office said.

Responding New Jersey State troopers found 46-year-old Meikle's SUV engulfed in flames near the highway's center median shortly before 2:45 a.m. near mile marker 136 in Clark, said Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case.

Godwin's Range Rover had overturned on the shoulder, Suarez said.

A good Samaritan pulled over to help, when Godwin requested he be transported away from the scene -- indicating he was prepared to offer an unspecified reward in exchange, authorities said.

Meikle was rushed to RWJ University Hospital in Rahway, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 3:35 a.m., Suarez said.

Meanwhile, Godwin was transported to University Hospital in Newark for emergency treatment.

Godwin has since been discharged from the hospital and lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court.

He was charged with second-degree death by auto and second-degree witness tampering in connection with the crash, Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said Wednesday.

“I would like to commend the hard work of our Homicide Task Force and our partners at the New Jersey State Police, under the leadership of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, which allowed us to quickly bring charges in this terrible incident,” Ruotolo said.

Anyone with information about this matter is urged to contact New Jersey State Police Detective Nagib Saad at 732-441-4500, Ext. 3434, or Task Force Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.

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