Authorities have arrested the driver of the BMW SUV involved in a crash that killed three people early Monday morning. According to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, data recovered from the car indicates that the man drove in excess of 100 miles an hour in the seconds leading up to the Paterson Plank Road collision.
The man, Ziyang Wang, 23, of Jersey City, was arrested at Jersey City Medical Center, where he is receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the crash. He has been charged with three counts of Reckless Manslaughter; three counts of Death by Auto; and one count of Assault by Auto.
Jersey City Police were first alerted to the crash, south of Congress Street, at approximately 12:45 a.m. Responding officers found a BMW X5 M50i that appeared to have crashed head-on with a Kia Amanti. The driver of the Kia – identified as Dylan Weidenfeld, 26, of Jersey City – was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were five people in the BMW. Wang was identified as the driver.
A woman in the backseat was pronounced dead at the scene. A man also riding in the back seat was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Their identities are being withheld pending next of kin notifications.
A third backseat passenger, a 19-year-old woman, remains in critical condition at Jersey City Medical Center. A woman in the front passenger seat suffered injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening at this time.
A video of the scene was posted early by Hudpost.
In 2019, Adriana Riano, a 32-year-old nurse from North Bergen, was killed when her car was struck head-on on the same road. A 27-year-old Union City man later pleaded guilty to the charge of Death by Auto.
Following Monday’s crash, Craig Guy, the Democratic nominee for Hudson County Executive, called for a series of improvements to the road including traffic delineators, more enforcement, and improved signage.
SUVs pose a particular risk to the drivers of smaller cars. According to Consumer Reports, the higher weight of SUVs results in fatality rates in a frontal crashes that are four to seven times higher for the small car driver than those of SUV drivers.
Depending on the options, a BMW X5 M50i like that driven by Wang weighs between 4,828 and 5,260 lbs. A Kia Amanti weighs 3770 lbs.
The Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit is actively investigating this matter with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department. Authorities ask anyone with information to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip. All information will be kept confidential.
Photo courtesy of Google Streetview