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††††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† *Press Release* ††† ††††††Date: March 24, 2009†††††††††††††††† ††††††††

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Two men arrested and charged in serious crash during auto race

 

 

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Woodbridge Police Chief William Trenery today announced the arrest of two Rahway men who took part in a high-speed car race that ended in a multi-vehicle crash and critically injured another motorist on Route 1.

 

Police also are searching for a third suspect, a black male in his mid-20s, who fled the scene following the crash at 9:01 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2009, in the Avenel section ofWoodbridge.

 

Brandon W. Bullock, (DOB 7/7/84) and Clifford J. Cooley, (DOB 1/24/82) both of Rahway, were each charged with hindering their apprehension, obstructing the administration of law, and endangering an injured victim.

 

The two men were charged with endangering Nicholas Phan-Tran, (DOB 1/25/88) of Edison, after an investigation determined Bullock, Cooley and the third, unidentified man riding in their car ran from the scene and left the injured man, who was not involved in the race.

 

The victim was flown to University Hospital in Newark, where he was listed in critical condition.

 

The hindering count was filed after police determined Bullock and Cooley gave police false information about the incident.

 

In addition, the defendants were charged with obstruction for fleeing the scene and for providing false information.

 

The incident began when Bullock, Cooley and the unidentified man, all riding in a 2006 Toyota Scion, started racing a Honda Civic in the northbound lanes of Route 1.

 

As the vehicles approached the Avenel Street intersection, the Honda Civic passed two cars, but the defendantsí car struck both vehicles, a Dodge Stratus, which was in the center lane of Route 1, and another passenger vehicle, which was slowing down to make a right turn onto Avenel Street.

 

Police are searching for the driver of the Honda Civic, a dark-colored vehicle, which fled the scene.

 

The impact of the crash caused by the defendantsí Toyota propelled the Dodge into the concrete median at the intersection. The Dodge landed on top of a Toyota Corolla that was being driven by Phan-Tran in a southbound lane of the highway.

 

The driver of the Dodge, a 22-year-old man from Avenel, sustained minor injuries and was treated at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call Patrolman Gennaro DeStefano of the Woodbridge Police Traffic Safety Unit at (732) 634-7700, or Sgt. John Dando of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office Fatal Crash Investigation Unit at (732) 745-3300.

 

As is the case with all defendants, the charges against Bullock and Cooley are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.