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NJ man gets under 8 for Union hit-and-run that killed boy

A driver who fatally hit a 12-year-old boy and drove off nearly three years ago has been sentenced to less than eight years in prison.

Jose Marrero, 39, of Kearny (a former resident of Lake Hiawatha in Parsippany-Troy Hills), was previously found guilty by a jury of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, according to the county prosecutor of Union, William Daniel.

Union’s Jeremy Maraj was driving home from a park with his grandmother when he was hit by a work van that never stopped on July 17, 2019.

Maraj died of his injuries two days later.

Jeremy Maraj, 12, was fatally punched in 2019 (GoFundMe via Tom Ehrhardt)

Jeremy Maraj, 12, was fatally punched in 2019 (GoFundMe via Tom Ehrhardt)

Marrero was sentenced on Friday by Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch.

He was driving a 2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van, prosecutors said, when he hit Maraj on the shoulder of Galloping Hill Road near Forest Drive.

There was a public call for information after the hit-and-run.

“You need to know you hit a kid, you know you hit somebody. I’m just asking, I’m begging you to come forward. And if anybody knows anything, I’m begging them to please say thing,” Jeremy’s mother, Lisa Jamurath, told New Jersey 101.5, two weeks after the crash that killed her son.

About a day later, Marrero went to the Elizabeth district attorney’s office.

A gas station on Salem Road had surveillance footage of the van, according to the complaint filed during the arrest of Marrero, who was returned to his employer the next day “with significant damage to the windshield, hood and to the passenger side headlight.

Marrero had told his girlfriend that he must have punched a deer, according to the same criminal complaint.

Two different GoFundMe campaigns raised nearly $60,000 in memorial funds honoring the 12-year-old’s memory.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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