💥 Video shows the deadly crash that ended a pursuit involving suspected car burglars

🙏 A Freehold dad was killed in the crash; his family was hospitalized.

👮‍♂️ The state is investigating the crash and identified the officer involved

OLD BRIDGE — The state has released video and police transmission audio from a pursuit and crash last year that left an innocent bystander dead.

The crash at the intersection of Route 9 and Spring Valley Road in Old Bridge at 2:14 a.m. early on Nov. 9. killed Freehold resident 33-year-old Arturo Tlapa Luna, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Luna was not involved in the chase and happened to enter the intersection at the same time as a vehicle driven by suspected car burglars. He was in a vehicle with his family. The crash hospitalized his father, wife, and their two children.

The OAG has identified the driver of the suspects' vehicle as Samuel Villar, 20, of Somerset. Authorities have also identified the officer involved in the chase as Marlboro Sgt. Greg Arrone. As with any police-involved death, the OAG is investigating the incident.

A hooded suspect leaves a driveway after entering a vehicle. (OAG)
A hooded suspect leaves a driveway after entering a vehicle. (OAG)

🔔 Ring doorbell camera footage

In the 911 call, the caller from a home in Monmouth County says three people in a sedan pulled up to his home and tried breaking into his car.

Ring doorbell camera footage showed the hooded suspects tried getting into vehicles at several homes along Bretton Way in Marlboro. It appeared one person drove slowly while two others darted back and forth across the street checking each driveway for unlocked cars.

Soon after, a Marlboro police car with lights flashing pulled up behind the suspects' vehicle. The runners then sprinted back to their car.

"I got 'em on Bretton," Arrone said in released police radio communications and the pursuit began.

The pursuit begins in Old Bridge 11/9/23. (OAG)
The pursuit begins in Old Bridge 11/9/22. (OAG)

After the chase began, Arrone spent the next several minutes in pursuit at varying rates of speed. He identified the suspects' vehicle as a grey or silver Nissan Maxima and gave updates on the car's location and direction.

Around four minutes passed from the beginning of the chase when Arrone alerted the communications center to the crash.

"Not me, them," Arrone said.

Other first responder units can be heard saying that they were en route and "not far behind."

A car ID'd as a Nissan enters the intersection moments before impact. (NJ DOT via OAG)
A car ID'd as a Nissan enters the intersection moments before impact. (NJ DOT via OAG)

🚦 NJ DOT traffic camera footage

Department of Transportation traffic camera footage from the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Route 9 released by the OAG showed the crash.

From the video, it appeared the Nissan entered the intersection from Spring Valley Road at the same time that the victim's car entered it from Route 9. However, the suspects' car ran a red light and struck the victim's driver's side head-on.

Two other vehicles on Route 9 passed through the intersection just behind the victim's car and missed being struck by mere moments.

Seconds after the collision, Arrone's vehicle with flashing sirens entered the intersection.

Old Bridge police chase crash fatal
The moment of impact. (NJ DOT via OAG)

💥 Crash dashcam video

Dashcam video from Arrone's police car showed the Nissan as it T-boned Luna's vehicle.

It appeared the Nissan, which authorities said was driven by Villar, went off the road but it was not clear where the victims' vehicle ended up. Several other vehicles stopped immediately after the crash.

Arrone pulled his car to the side of the road. Gun drawn, he appeared to run after Villar's vehicle before the video ended.

Villar was charged at the time with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, four counts of second-degree aggravated assault, one count of second-degree eluding, one count of second-degree employing a juvenile, and one count of third-degree theft, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor.

Sgt. Greg Arrone draws a weapon after the crash on Route 9 on 11/9/22. (OAG)
Sgt. Greg Arrone draws a weapon after the crash on Route 9 on 11/9/22. (OAG)

An unidentified 17-year-old was charged with delinquent offenses equivalent to third-degree burglary, one count of fourth-degree joyriding, and one count of third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary.

Police dashcam footage of the crash 11/9/22. (OAG)
Police dashcam footage of the crash 11/9/22. (OAG)

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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