NJSP Captures Florida Driver In Hit-Run Death Of Teaneck Woman, 21, In Fort Lee

State Police captured the hit-and-run tractor-trailer driver who killed a 21-year-old Teaneck native last week on Route 95 in Fort Lee, authorities said.

Jada Smith, Joel Lasanta
Jada Smith, Joel Lasanta Photo Credit: INSET: Courtesy NJ State Police

Joel Lasanta, 37, of Kissimmee, FL, arrested Saturday at the Clara Barton Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike south of Cherry Hill, 115 miles or so from the scene of the crash, they said.

Jada Smith was headed back to Teaneck from Brooklyn with fellow family members in two vehicles when she was involved in another crash in the southbound express lanes of Route 95 shortly before 10:30 p.m. June 4.

Smith's mom and dad were in a car behind hers coming off the George Washington at the time, a source with direct knowledge of the incident told Daily Voice.

Smith got out of her Honda CRV to call her mother and was standing in the road on her phone when the tractor-trailer hit her, the source said.

She was pronounced dead at the scene less than a half-hour later, responders said.

Lasanta remained held Friday in the Bergen County Jail following his arrest last Saturday on charges of purposely leaving the scene of a fatal accident and hindering his arrest by providing false information.


A separate crash occurred while local and state police were investigating Smith’s death.

SEE: Back-To-Back Route 95 Crashes: Teaneck Native Killed By Tractor-Trailer, Police Car Hit


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