Man accused in fatal crash faces upgraded charges

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2014 4:37 PM

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Upgraded charges have been filed against a man accused of striking a New Jersey pedestrian and driving with the victim lodged in the vehicle's windshield.

Marcos Ortega, 33, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, Ocean County prosecutors said. The new charges were filed two days after 61-year-old Kenneth Moeller, of Lanoka Harbor, died from injuries he suffered in the Nov. 10 accident in Ocean Township.

Ortega, of Little Egg Harbor, initially was charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash and causing serious bodily injury to another while driving under the influence. He has been jailed since the day of the accident.

His bail initially was set at $150,000 cash, but with the new charges it now stands at $250,000 cash. It's not known if he's retained an attorney.

Investigators say Ortega struck Moeller on a highway shoulder and then continued driving for about 1 1/2 miles before he was stopped by police.

Prosecutors said a township police officer responding to reports of an erratic driver saw what appeared to be a person lying on the hood of a vehicle. The officer stopped the vehicle and, as he approached it, saw the victim lodged halfway through the windshield.

Samples of Ortega's blood were collected for analysis, but the tests have not been completed.