Update: Six Injured In Overnight Route 4 Crash, Impaired Wrong-Way Driver Charged

π—¨π—£π——π—”π—§π—˜: An impaired driver from Westchester was headed the wrong way on westbound Route 4 in Paramus when his SUV slammed head-on into another over the weekend, sending five people as well as himself to the hospital, authorities said.

File photo

File photo

Photo Credit: Kyle Mazza

Whigmer J. Villanueva, 56, of Harrison was "operating his vehicle recklessly and under the influence of drugs and or alcohol" when his eastbound 2008 Toyota rammed an unidentified vehicle shortly near Paramus Road before 2:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23, a criminal complaint says.

"Two passengers in the defendant's vehicle were injured as a result of the accident and the driver and two passengers of the other vehicle involved were all injured," the complaint filed in Superior Court in Hackensack says. "One of the victims in the other vehicle suffered serious bodily injury."

Firefighters extricated two victims from one SUV and one from the other.

Villanueva was charged with five counts of assault by auto, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said on Monday.

He also received several summonses following a probe by Musella’s Fatal Accident Investigation Team and the Paramus Police Crash Investigation Unit, the prosecutor said.

Additional charges were possible pending the results of toxicology testing of his blood and the fate of the seriously injured victim.

Villanueva is scheduled for an April 12 first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.


ORIGINAL STORY (March 23): An overnight crash on Route 4 in Paramus injured five people and brought a host of ambulances and emergency responders.

Two SUVs appeared to have collided head-on when police found them on the highway's westbound side near Paramus Road shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23.

One of the vehicles was facing the wrong way.

Firefighters extricated two victims from one SUV and one from the other. All six victims were taken to area hospitals.

"The initial assessment revealed that several individuals sustained serious bodily injuries," Paramus Police Chief Robert Guidetti said.

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella confirmed the crash but didn't say whether it was the prospect of fatal injuries or possible criminality that prompted the involvement of his Major Crimes Unit's Fatal Accident Investigation Team.

Numerous police, firefighters and EMS members were at the scene.

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