HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A wild overnight police chase in Hackensack ended with a 20-year-old drunken driver in custody after he left the scene of one crash, split a utility pole in half and crashing his sedan through a fence and into a church bus and van.
A city officer was on patrol on Passaic Street when he heard a crash near the corner of Summit Avenue around 3:30 a.m., Capt. Timothy Lloyd told Daily Voice.
An ambulance took the driver of the other car to Hackensack University Medical Center with neck and back pain, Lloyd said.
Meanwhile, the officer chased the hit-and-run driver, who had his vehicle's headlights off as it fled on Passaic Street.
The sedan smashed through the fence of Hackensack Christian School at Park Street, hit the two church vehicles and burst into flames, said Lloyd, the department commander.
The driver tried running -- and was caught near the Gutterman and Musicant Funeral Home on Passaic Street, he said.
He "smelled of marijuana and alcohol," and was hospitalized with possible head trauma, the captain said.Lloyd identified him as Vijay Persaud of Teaneck, who nearly a year ago, records show, was involved in a chase and crash in that town.
City firefighters doused the blaze early Saturday.
A PSE&G crew later restored power to the neighborhood while repairing the damaged pole.
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