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DWI Paterson Driver Who Killed Friend And Ran Indicted

An unlicensed Paterson driver who was drunk when he bailed out and ran after a crash that killed an 18-year-old passenger was indicted on a host of charges, authorities said.

Lawan A. Henry
Lawan A. Henry Photo Credit: PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR

Lawan A. Henry, 23, has remained held in the Passaic County Jail since his arrest following the 4 a.m. crash last Nov. 15.

Henry was driving a 2008 Cadillac CTS that slammed into several unoccupied vehicles on Broadway between East 30th and East 29th streets.

In the sedan with Henry were three passengers, including Paterson resident Xavier Ortiz, who was pronounced dead at the scene a half-hour or so later.

Two other passengers were brought to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said.

Henry, meanwhile, took off on foot before being arrested hours later, they said.

Grand jurors reinforced the original criminal complaints, indicting Henry on charges of:

  • death by auto (vehicular homicide);
  • leaving the scene of a fatal crash;
  • two counts of leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injuries;
  • two counts of causing serious bodily injury while driving unlicensed;
  • three counts of endangering an injured victim;
  • causing death while driving unlicensed;
  • assault by auto.

An arraignment on the indictment was scheduled next Monday, March 22, in Superior Court in Paterson.

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