FREEHOLDA multi-vehicle hit-and-run collision in Neptune Township claimed the life of one male driver Monday morning, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

On Monday, March 21, 2022, at approximately 8:58 a.m., members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to a motor vehicle collision on West Bangs Avenue, west of Alpine Trail. An investigation of the scene revealed that Wesley Moore Jr., 84, of Asbury Park was driving a 2020 Nissan Altima westbound on West Bangs Avenue when his vehicle was sideswiped by a 2018 Kia Niro driven by Ariel Vernet, a 48-year-old male, also of Asbury Park. After the initial collision, Moore’s vehicle continued to run off the road to the right, colliding with a chain-link fence. As a result, Moore died from injuries suffered in the collision and was pronounced at 11:04 a.m.

Vernet’s vehicle continued westbound and sideswiped a second vehicle, a 2001 Mercury operated by a 42-year-old female of Neptune. The Mercury was then rear-ended by a 2017 GMC Canyon, driven by a 34-year-old male, also of Neptune. Vernet proceeded to leave the scene, but was located later Monday in Asbury Park.

Vernet was charged with one count of Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision and released on a summons.

Moore had two occupants in the vehicle, a female passenger in the front seat and a young child in the rear of the vehicle. Both were uninjured in the crash.

All other vehicles involved in the crash had no passengers in their vehicles.

The crash remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), and the Neptune Township Police Department.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information to assist the investigative team is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Kristian DeVito toll-free at 800-533-7443, or Neptune Township Police Sergeant James MacConchie at 732-988-8000.

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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