UPDATE: Thanks to a plea deal, a postal carrier from Midland Park who fled the scene after striking and killing a Hawthorne man in Ridgewood won’t be going to state prison for his crime.
A judge in Hackensack on Friday allowed Rafael Ramos, 48, to keep his job during the day while serving 364 consecutive nights in the Bergen County Jail as his plea-bargained sentence for the hit-and-run death of Edward Rao.
Ramos was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident after running over and killing Rao, a 54-year-old former Ridgewood real estate agent, on West Ridgewood Avenue near the village train station.
Rao apparently had been heavily intoxicated when he fell into the street on West Ridgewood Avenue, near the intersection of Library Place, in late September 2018, authorities said.
He was then run over by Ramos’s Chevy Trailblazer, they said.
Rao was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he was later pronounced dead.
The vehicle continued westbound on West Ridgewood Avenue, toward Midland Park, authorities said.
Ramos's home, near Midland Park High School, is less than two miles -- and two soft rights -- from the scene.
It turned out he came by and spoke to police at the scene without saying that he was the driver responsible, prosecutors said.
Detectives who found a piece of the Trailblazer at the scene released surveillance video (see above) while searching for the driver.
Members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Fatal Accident Investigations Unit later identified Ramos, who they said initially gave differing versions of what he thought happened and said he'd been drinking.
In addition to the year of jail work release, Superior Court Judge Carol Novey Catuogno sentenced Ramos to five years probation in exchange for his guilty plea to endangering an injured victim.
ALSO SEE: Pedestrians were struck in three different Northwest Bergen towns in a span of less than 20 minutes Friday night.
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