RAMSEY, NJ (CBSNewYork) — A former police officer is dead following a high speed crash on Route 17 in Ramsey and prosecutors believe drag racing is to blame.

Ex-Hillsdale police officer Cameron Arki, 26, of Rutherford, lost control of his white BMW shortly before 10 p.m. Monday and crashed into a truck in a moving company’s parking lot, Bergen County prosecutors said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“It was excessive speed. You don’t do damage like that especially around here,” Anthony Fazio, the owner of the moving company, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

The impact of the crash shifted the 20,000 pound truck about 75 feet.

Fazio arrived on scene within minutes of the crash and said Arki’s parents were there screaming and crying over their son’s death.

“The truck you can replace but you can’t imagine what the family feels like, you know?” Fazio said.

Police say Arki and Salvatore Benanti, 26, of Franklin Lakes started racing just south of Upper Saddle River. Witnesses say that the two men’s BMWs were racing each other at speeds in excess of 100-mph.

There was no evidence of contact between the two vehicles and neither Benanti nor his passenger Kelsi Tichacek, 19, of Paramus were injured in the crash. Tichacek and Benanti remained at the scene however it is alleged that they lied to investigators regarding the events leading up to the collision.

Both Benanti and Tichacek have been charged with 3rd degree Hindering Apprehension, Benanti has also been charged with Reckless Driving and Racing on a Highway. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said that additional charges may be considered as the investigation continues.

Tichacek was released on her own recognizance, Benanti posted $10,000.00 bail with a ten percent option. The pair will have their first appearance in Upper Saddle River Municipal Court on January 10.

Drag racing is common in the area, according to locals.

Police are still investigating.

Comments (29)
  1. joe says:

    go screw your self

  2. Hc says:

    One day this will happen to you and believe me you’ll wish you NEVER said that.

  3. Joe says:

    I agree with Mark,This was not “Drag Racing” It is illegal street racing! There are many of us who have drag raced professionally for years only to be given a bad rap.

    REAL drag racers spend a lot of time,effort,and money to participate in a sport we love,And we have an emphasis on safety. We race for not only for the competition,But for the family atmosphere and being able to spend time with those who have like interests.

    I am truly sorry this man lost his life,Perhaps this tragedy would not have happened if he had chosen to race at the track instead of racing illegally on the streets endangering himself and others.

  4. neveradoubt says:

    something does not add up to stupid kids are drag racing up rt 17 which i c ever day in that same location and now one of the 2 retarts die in the crash and now they charge the other driver what a jokewish it would be me they tried to charge stupid law enforcment they need to go back to school

  5. njboy says:

    Clearly this moron who could have killed a family watched to many Fast and Furious movies and now he is dead.One less clown speeding past me on the NJ turnpike

  6. bullett says:

    From last evenings news report, it stated that Mr. Benanti is the owner of a custom car business which features BMW’s, etc.. I would like to know how does a 26 year old come up with that kind of capitol for this type of business?

    1. njboy says:

      drug dealer i bet

      1. josh panfile says:

        its called dedication and hard work sal is a striaght forward good kid that doesnt deal drugs stop assuming things ppl

  7. Schussler says:

    i know them both personally and to see the ignorant comments you people make makes me sick! like many people have said, know the facts first. Nobody deserves death, you ignorant people are disgusting to me. He was a human-being, he didnt deserve to die and damn sure doesnt deserve all the stupid comments you people are making.

    1. nrichard says:

      the fact that he got killed and could have killed someone else is more than enough!
      no, he did not deserve to die – however, being an ex-cop, he should have been intelligent enough not to do something so unnecessarily stupid! now, his family has to deal with his stupidity – thankfully, he did not take out a mini van full of kids!

  8. Brian says:

    To all the people who are bad mouthing Cameron may your families never feel the pain that his family and friends are right now. What do you gain out of bad mouthing a dead person?? That just makes all of you a bunch of ass clowns!! If he was racing then yes it was wrong but why say stupid things like the ass clown that said “I hope it hurt when he died for being stupid”. I’m sure your family is real proud of you! Grow up losers and have some respect for the dead. RIP Cameron.

  9. Cheryl Berberich Roccamo says:

    I can’t believe how ignorant some people are. No matter what or how it happened a life was loss. Never mind that his family & friends could possibly see the comments. Shame on you!!

    1. njboy says:

      At least this idiot xcop only killed himself .What if he killed a family in a min van.
      I hope it hurt when he died for being stupid

      1. Hc says:

        Hes not an IDIOT. Your the IDIOT what now your big and bad beind a computer screen. You probably have no family you souless jerk. Go elsewhere with your ignorant comments. There should be LESS people like you in this world. God forbid this happens to or children or family if you have one.

  10. Oscar says:

    I knew CJ and the ACM crew… good well rounded guys. Demonstrated sound judgement and are pillars of the car tuning community. however boys will be boys and it is very unfortunate. ACM is a very successful shop and CJ did very well for himself. He served his community as an officer but left to join the ACM crew and do what he loved. This is a shame but please reserve your judgement and refrain from any ignorant comments behind a computer screen.

  11. Pete says:

    Nothing new on that stretch of road leading up to Mahwah. County cops and local cops have done nothing about it for years. And big deal he was an ex-cop- he was still a person who was stupid enough to do that and paid the price for his stupidity.

    And as for the person saying he had a “Passion for cars”? Yeah, I guess breaking all the rules of the road is a passion of some kind. One has nothing to do with the other- you get your facts straight.

    1. Hc says:

      Before you become ignorant step back and think about your stupid decisions . Because no ones perfect i bet you’ve done something that could’ve killed you and it wasn’t your time. But believe me karma’s a bitch.

  12. Christine says:

    First of all his name was Cameron not Carmen, and he died, he wasn’t the one in custody. What kind of screwed up news cast was that? Idiots. To the person who commented “he was a cop, what do you expect” you are an idiot too! He was a person with family and friends who loved him and now he’s gone. How dare you! Cam, you will be missed. RIP.

    1. Christine says:

      You an obvious have no heart and I would bet you don’t own an auto body. No compassion for his family or friends? What kind of person are you? Not a person at all. Do me a favor and don’t respond to me. If you want to say something else leave my post out of it. My co-worker just died.

      1. bmw211 says:

        this is just heartless. How do you know “his parents payed for it”? Your a selfish jerk who doesnt realize accidents happen and this one was very tragic. Yes it was dumb to race on rt 17 but Cameron does not deserve this. Many people are mourning his death and bet Sal is going through a very rough time right now. So how about you keep your comments to yourself and understand this guy died no matter what he did and has a family that is mourning

  13. Linda says:

    Ex-cop at 26, sounds like he had more than a speeding problem.

    1. JB says:

      The job is not for everyone, that doesn’t automatioally mean you have a problem. Obviously you “Can’t Understand Normal Thinking”. God bless the family and parents of the boy. (take the first letter of each quote word and do the math)

    2. Carina says:

      He had no problem. He resigned to follow his passion for cars. Again, Learn your facts before commenting on something, Thank you.

  14. mj says:

    he was a cop so obviously not too bright to begin , then an e x cop at that, that says it all . what do you expect ?

    1. Mark says:

      Don’t knock the cops, I am an ex-cop too and i just moved on to a better paying job. An a “Drag Racer” who plays on the track!

    2. JB says:

      Another bottom dweller who “Can’t Understand Normal Thinking”. I expect that a normal peson would think about the grieving parents before spewing hurtful, unwarranted opinions! Do the math BJ!

    3. Carina says:

      You are talking bad about a PERSON that has just passed away. Obviously YOUR not too bright. He wasn’t just a Cop/ Ex Cop he was a son, an uncle, a friend, and a very loved person. Him being an Ex Cop says nothing. He resigned to follow his passion for cars. So before you comment on something, learn your facts please. R.I.P Cam you will be very missed..

      1. me says:

        gooo carinaa <33

  15. Mark says:

    These fools were not “Drag Racing”. A Drag Race starts and ends in a quarter mile, 1320 feet to be exact.

    Plain and simple they were just driving at excessive speed for a distance of about 2 miles, they are fools and should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible.

    To the newspaper reporters , all illegal spped contests are not “Drag Racing” so please use the correct terms!

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