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Rutherford Daily Voice serves Carlstadt, East Rutherford & Rutherford
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Rutherford Daily Voice serves Carlstadt, East Rutherford & Rutherford

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Judge Frees Moonachie Driver In Fatal Route 3 Hit-Run Crash

Bryan Meza-Roca

UPDATE: A Moonachie driver who was charged with the Route 3 hit and run death of a pedestrian from Paterson remained free pending further court action, authorities confirmed.

A judge in Paterson ordered Bryan Meza-Roca, 26, to surrender his driver’s license and remain monitored while the case against him proceeds.

He was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and endangering an injured victim, Mustafa Hemaid, 33, with his 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe on the eastbound highway outside Clifton Commons on June 13.

Investigators were drawing closer to solving the case when Meza-Roca turned himself in to Clifton police five days later, authorities said.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, whose office is leading the investigation, hasn’t said what authorities believe Hemaid was doing on the highway, nor what time they suspect that he was struck.

A caller who reported seeing “mannequin parts” brought police, who found the body along the shoulder near the median – as well as parts of the Santa Fe, including the driver’s side mirror – shortly after 8 a.m. last Sunday.

"It's unusual, to say the least," a veteran investigator told Daily Voice later that day. "At no point did anyone report seeing a body. Apparently, no one realized what it was."

Meza-Roca surrendered on Friday. The next day, a Central Judicial Processing Court judge in Paterson freed him pending further court action.

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