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Updated: Township Man, NBHS Vice-Principal, Killed By Drag-Racing Car

Tyrone Harrison. (Photo courtesy Project Exceed.)

Update 2: A second 21-year-old Piscataway man has been charged in connection with Harrison’s death.

A release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said that Sohjah Powell-Warner, the administrator of both the “78 Imports” Facebook page and Instagram account, was arrested Oct. 12 and charged with two counts of hindering law enforcement.

According to the release, after the crash, Powell-Warner “purposely altered the official Facebook page and Instagram posts of ’78 Imports’ in an effort to hinder the investigation of the crash which occurred when multiple vehicles were illegally street racing on Stelton Road in Piscataway.”

78 Imports is the name of the street racing group to which the car’s driver Freddy Garcia Jr., belonged, according to authorities.

Update: From the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office: “Freddy S. Garcia Jr., 21, of Piscataway was arrested and charged today with aggravated manslaughter in the first degree, knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death in the second degree, causing death while driving with a suspended license in the third degree, hindering in the third degree, and false reports to law enforcement in the fourth degree.

“In addition, Garcia was issued 12 motor vehicular summonses which include reckless driving, careless driving, racing on highway, leaving the scene involving personal injury, failure to report collision, failure to keep right, suspended driver, unlicensed driver, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, fictitious plates, and no inspection sticker.”

Garcia allegedly lost control of his car while he was drag racing and hit Harrison, then abandoned his car and fled the scene, according to the MCPO. He then later allegedly falsely reported that his car was stolen, MCPO said. The car was not registered or insured.

His initial appearance, via video, is tentatively set for Oct. 12, according to MCPO.

 

Original Story: A 49-year-old township resident walking in Piscataway was killed Oct. 6 by a car that was drag racing and then left the scene, authorities said.

Police are looking for the public’s help in finding the driver.

Tyrone Harrison, a vice-principal at New Brunswick High School, was walking along Stelton Road near Ethel Avenue at about 9:17 p.m. when he was allegedly hit by a car that was drag racing, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Harrison was walking from the Edison train station to a relative’s house when he was hit, according to the release.

Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A preliminary investigation by Patrolwoman Meredith Robbins of the Piscataway Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office showed that “multiple” cars were drag racing on Stelton Road and one of them, a 2003 Honda Accord, hit Harrison and then fled the scene, the release said.

Authorities believe the drivers are part of a club called “78 Imports,” which races cars on public streets, according to the release.

Harrison was an educator for nearly two decades, according to his biography at Project Exceed, a Metuchen-based group that provides personalized tutoring to young people.

“Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting students who face life challenges, especially those for whom others have lost hope,” according to the biography.

“Middlesex County currently has the highest rate of fatal car crashes in New Jersey,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in the release. “Law enforcement is working diligently every day to lower the number of these fatalities.  This tragic death was entirely preventable and unnecessary.  Drag racing on public roads is dangerous and irresponsible.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Harrison’s family and the school community.”

Police ask anyone with information regarding the incident to please contact Officer Robbins at (732) 562-7652 or Detective Berman at (732) 745-4328.

 

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