Monday morning, January 10th, at approximately 2:40 a.m., the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) was alerted by a concerned citizen regarding an erratic driver who was reported to be traveling on the opposite lanes of traffic on West Westfield Avenue near Gordon Street and heading toward Elizabeth. The vehicle was described as a black four-door Honda.
Police located the vehicle on Westfield Avenue at Chestnut Street and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle reportedly quickly accelerated, refusing to stop for police, and nearly struck several parked cars while swerving in and out of lanes. Police lost sight of the vehicle and terminated the pursuit on Westfield Avenue at Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth.
After checking the immediate area for the vehicle, officers came upon a motor vehicle accident on Westfield Avenue and Orchard Street in Elizabeth involving the same Honda and three other vehicles. An investigation revealed that the Honda rear-ended an SUV at the red light, rolled both vehicles, and struck two other parked vehicles.
The driver of the SUV, a 40-year-old Elizabeth resident, was trapped in the vehicle and extricated by police. He was transported to the hospital with reports of neck and back pain. The driver of the Honda, Danilo Rodriguez-Benitez age 25 from Elizabeth, was captured on foot one block west of the accident as he allegedly attempted to flee the accident scene and evade police.
He was transported to the hospital with minor facial injuries and then ultimately to Roselle Park Police headquarters where he was formally charged with Eluding Police (2nd degree) with bail set at $75,000. He was also issued numerous traffic summons to include D.W.I., D.W.I. In A School Zone, Reckless Driving, and Unlicensed Driver. Mr. Rodriguez-Benitez was lodged in the Union County Jail.