On July 19, Jersey City Councilperson Amy DeGise was involved in a hit-and-run crash with a cyclist at the intersection of Forrest Street and Martin Luther King Drive. We send our best wishes for a prompt recovery to the injured cyclist, who was taken to Jersey City Medical Center. But we also ask for more than thoughts and prayers from our elected officials. Last year, 220 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey roadways, along with 23 cyclists, 373 drivers and 84 passengers.
Under New Jersey law, a driver must immediately stop and remain at the scene after a crash. It is not only illegal to flee the scene, but also immoral. An SUV such as the one Councilperson DeGise was driving weighs well over 3,000 pounds and could seriously injure or kill a pedestrian or cyclist. To be more concerned with avoiding accountability and preserving one’s own image than the very life of the person you struck is unconscionable. If the allegations are true, Councilperson DeGise has demonstrated that her priorities are incompatible with a career in public leadership.
This incident should not be taken lightly. Residents deserve accountability, a transparent process, and policies that promote increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists. We ask for the immediate public release of the CCTV footage of the crash.
Ron Bautista, President, Eleana Little, Executive Vice President, Progressive Democrats of Hudson County