Physical contact not required if leaving the scene
State v. Sene 443 NJ Super. 134 (App. Div. 2015)
The question of first impression presented on this appeal is whether contact between defendant's vehicle and a victim is a necessary element of leaving the scene of an accident in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1. Defendant was driving a taxi when a pedestrian stepped into his lane of traffic. The pedestrian fell into the adjoining lane of traffic and was killed when she was run over by another vehicle. Defendant did not stop his taxi at the scene and left without speaking to anyone. A jury convicted him of leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1. On appeal, defendant contends that a necessary element to the crime is contact between his vehicle and the victim. The Court disagrees and holds that such contact is not an element of this crime. The Court also hold that N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1 is not unconstitutionally vague. The court, therefore, affirms defendant's second-degree criminal conviction.