Damian Dymka (2021)

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Overview

On November 1, 2021, Newark New Jersey Police Department Officer Louis Santiago was off-duty and driving with a friend when he failed to maintain his lane and struck Dymka, who was walking on the highway's shoulder.[1][2]

Santiago and his friend left the scene but returned and put Dymka in the car, then went to his house to discuss what to do. They returned to the accident scene with Dymka.[1][2]

Santiago’s father, a lieutenant in the Newark police department, called 911 to report the accident. Dymka had died by the time state police arrived at the scene.[1]

On November 1, 2021, Santiago was suspended without pay.[3]

On November 24, 2021, Santiago was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating/moving human remains, leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, endangering an injured victim, tampering with physical evidence, hindering one's own apprehension, conspiracy to hinder prosecution, obstructing the administration of law, and two counts of official misconduct.[2]

On July 15, 2022, a grand jury indicted Santiago on the original charges.[4]

Santiago pleaded guilty to felony counts of second-degree vehicular homicide, second-degree disturbing human remains, and second-degree official misconduct, and driving while intoxicated.[5]

On August 2, 2023, Santiago was sentenced to five years in prison.[5]

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