YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Yonkers man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed an 18-year-old man on the Saw Mill River Parkway, police announced Tuesday.
Junior Silverio-Ventura, 19, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, police said. He was held overnight at county police headquarters in Hawthorne and remained in custody on $50,000 bail following his arraignment.
Police said Zachary Dunn pulled his Nissan Sentra over on the parkway around 2:50 a.m. Monday near McLean Avenue in Yonkers while driving with a friend after getting a flat tire.
That’s when police said an Acura TSX smashed into the back of Dunn’s vehicle, killing him. A passenger in Dunn’s car was also hurt.
The occupants of the Acura then abandoned the car and jumped into another vehicle, which was also an Acura TSX, and fled the scene, police said.
“According to witnesses, there were several other vehicles involved with the suspect that picked up the suspect from the scene of the accident and took them away,” Westchester County Police Chief John Hodges said.
Witnesses said the two vehicles were speeding and may have been drag racing.
During their investigation, detectives identified Silverio-Ventura as being the driver of the Acura that rear-ended Dunn’s car, police said.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, Dunn was set to start classes at SUNY-Westchester on Tuesday.
“We just think it’s a dream, a bad dream and it will go away,” neighbor Mary Iandoli said. “Very heartbroken. Very, very heartbroken.”
Ventura had many family supporters in court on Tuesday. Cameras were not allowed inside, but his attorney said Ventura is a working plumber, has a one-year-old child, and no prior arrests.
The investigation is still ongoing and police said additional charges are possible. Police say they are no signs of an organized drag race, but they are looking into the possibility, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
While an arrest may bring answers, Dunn’s family was left heartbroken — mourning a son they should have been moving into college.
“The student he was about to be, and the closeness with his family,” friend Nicole Perry said.
Police said besides the car Ventura was driving, they believe at least two other cars and a total of nine people may have been involved.
Investigators were still questioning the other eight people to determine if they could face charges as well.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Westchester County Police at 914-864-7701. All calls are confidential.