Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced today the arrest of 29 year old RYON CUMBERBATCH (DOB: November 5, 1985; of 1188 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York) in connection with a fatal collision that killed Waldwick Police Officer Christopher GOODELL. The charges came about as a result of a cooperative investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit (FAIU), under the direction of Chief Carmen MARTINO; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Joseph R. FUENTES; the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Michael SAUDINO; and the Bergen County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian HIGGINS.

As a result of the cooperative investigation, it was determined that on July 17, 2014, at approximately 1:23 a.m., the Waldwick Police Department received numerous 911 calls reporting a serious two vehicle collision in the southbound lanes of Route 17. Police responded and determined that a 2012 Freightliner eighteen wheel tractor-trailer had left the marked lanes of travel and drove onto the shoulder where it struck an unmarked Waldwick Police vehicle. The resulting collision killed 32 year old Waldwick Police Officer Christopher Goodell, who was stopped along the roadway conducting radar checks. According to the Bergen County Medical Examiner, who later conducted a post-mortem examination of the officer, Goodell died of blunt force injuries directly related to severe trauma to the head.

A preliminary scene investigation revealed that Officer Goodell’s unmarked police car was stopped along Route 17, entirely in the shoulder, as he conducted a stationary radar detail. Although his car was running, Officer Goodell’s emergency lights were not activated. The collision between the truck and the stationary unmarked police car occurred entirely in the shoulder of the highway. There was no evidence of pre-impact braking by the truck; instead it appears from the roadway evidence that Cumberbatch drove directly into the police car without stopping or attempting to stop.

As a result of this investigation, RYON CUMBERBATCH has been charged criminally with one count of 2nd degree Vehicular Homicide, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5. Bail has been set at $25,000, with a 10% option, by the Honorable Edward A. Jerejian, JSC. CUMBERBATCH’s first appearance has been scheduled to be heard in the Bergen County Central Municipal Court on July 21, 2014.

Prosecutor Molinelli states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutor Molinelli would like to thank the New Jersey State Police Department, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department and the Bergen County Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.

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