Men Who Hit and Killed Scotch Plains Resident Tell Judge They Were Drinking Prior to Fatal Accident
Patricia Currie of Scotch Plains died after being hit by Charles Casiere and John Diaz of Westfield.
Charles Casiere and John Diaz of Westfield told Superior Court Judge John Triarsi that they'd been drinking before they hit Patricia Currie, 68, of Scotch Plains in January of 2012, according to a report by NJ.com.
Casiere, 85, had completed his shift as a school crossing guard at approximately 4 p.m. when he went to the Knights of Columbus hall for "two or three vodkas," he told Triarsi. Shortly after 6 p.m., Casiere got behind the wheel of his Chevy Cavalier and struck Currie, a hospice nurse, who died of the injuries she sustained, according to the report.
Diaz, 75, also a crossing guard, admitted he'd had a beer at his home before drinking two Miller Lites at the KoC hall. Diaz hit Currie with his GMC pickup truck in the moments after she'd been struck by Casiere.
Currie had been passing through the intersection of North Avenue at Tuttle Parkway when it appeared she grazed a pedestrian as he crossed the street, according to police. Currie immediately stopped and offered assistance to the man, attempting to lead him across the street, when she was struck.
Casiere pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault with an automobile, the report states. Diaz, who had initially stopped, left the scene prior to police arriving. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, which is a second-degree crime.
According to the attorneys for Casiere and Diaz, the men are seeking probation with no jail time, according to the report.
Members of Currie's family were in the courtroom but left following the guilty pleas, the report states.