JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A deadly crash has devastated two families in Jersey City and police say the driver responsible was either high or drunk.
It is a terrible loss for the tight-knit family of 44-year-old James Fuller.
“He was a great man. He did everything he could for his family,” Fuller’s wife, Debra, told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
Fuller was a passenger in a taxi that was rear-ended by an alleged impaired driver Wednesday night. The impact caused the taxi to burst into flames and slam into 41-year-old pedestrian Jairo “Jay” Camelo.
“He was a wonderful person, he will be missed. Leaves a great void in our hearts,” Camelo’s cousin, Omar Reyes, said.
Reyes set up a memorial shrine to his cousin, who was a successful architect and married with a 4-year-old son.
“It’s just terrible. We’re devastated, we really are,” Reyes said.
Police have charged the driver, 34-year-old Herman Chandler, who was allegedly driving the black SUV that rear-ended the taxi. Chandler is an ex-con who cops think was drunk or high at the time of the accident.
“Just give me a reason why you had to take my husband from me?” Debra Fuller tearfully asked.
She said she grew worried Wednesday night when her husband didn’t make his usual call to say he’d arrived at work. She and a relative began driving to his job site, when they came across the accident scene.
“And we saw all the lights and we just knew when we saw all the lights,” Fuller said.
At the scene, workers and patrons from a nearby restaurant ran outside with fire extinguishers trying to reach the victims in the flaming taxi.
“It’s horrible. It’s a very big feeling that you have that no matter how much you try to do to get the person out, there’s very little that you could do,” witness Cynthia Cortes said.
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