Posted Friday, July 17th, 2015
On July 11, at 1:37 a.m., New Jersey State Police were dispatched to a crash on Route 80 in Rockaway Township. The crash involved a 2004 Kia sedan, which was struck from behind by a 2014 Cadillac Escalade driven by Bhavuk Uppal, 22, of Mountain Lakes. The Kia became fully engulfed in flames and its three occupants perished as a result of the crash.
The occupants of the Kia have been positively identified by the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office as Edward Russell Hitt, 24; Briana Mae Anderson, 22; and Charlotte Reagan Hitt, 18 months, all of Louisville, Kentucky.
K Santiago-Madera and Brandon Green, both of the Bronx, N.Y., were the occupants of a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, that also involved in the crash. They were taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
On July 11, Uppal was charged with vehicular homicide, assault by auto, causing death while driving while suspended, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly persons offense and Driving While Intoxicated.
The defendant’s initial bail of $300,000 bail with no 10 percent option, was increased to $750,000 at a July 13 bail hearing before Superior Court Judge William J. McGovern, III. The defendant was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility, in lieu of bail.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Investigative Unit and Troop B Netcong Station, as well as the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.
Inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise H. Arseneault 973-285-6262 or [email protected].