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2 Face Charges In Fatal Hit And Run In New Brunswick

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Leonel Lopez Hernandez and children (credit: CBS 2)

Leonel Lopez Hernandez and children (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two men face charges stemming from a deadly hit-and-run accident in New Brunswick this week that left a bicyclist dead.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said Saturday that 37-year-old Timothy Puskas of New Brunswick was driving the sport utility vehicle that hit Leonel Hernandez late Wednesday night. Hernandez — a 26-year-old married father of two young children — was pronounced dead at the scene.

Puskas was arrested late Friday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He was being held Saturday on $100,000 cash bail.

Stephen Gallo, a 34-year-old Milltown resident who Kaplan said was a passenger in the SUV, was charged with hindering apprehension for helping to hide Puskas’ vehicle. Police found it at a Bound Brook apartment complex.

Gallo’s bail was set at $25,000 cash.

Francisca Lopez, a 24-year-old mother of two with another baby on the way, told CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis that she wants police “to find whoever hit her husband so they can punished to the full extent of the law.”

“They just left him there. Somebody else called the police. The one that struck him ran away,” said Patricia Zarate, a relative who came to comfort Lopez.

Zarate said the driver took a loving father, husband, son and brother, working to make a living for his family.

“And he wasn’t doing anything bad. He was getting out of work, straight to home,” Zarate said.

Just steps away from the accident scene there are a number of signs, warning of children at play and speed humps ahead. Investigators said speed is likely a factor in the hit and run.

Through her tears, Lopez expressed anger at her husband’s killer, but did leave a card and white flowers at scene that reads “This is for you my love. Rest in peace. I will always remember and love you.”

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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