Highland Park, NJ - Driver Charged In Death Of Orthodox Jewish Highland Park Boy
Highland Park, NJ - A 21 year old Piscataway man has been charged in the death of a six year old Highland Park resident who was killed in a car accident yesterday afternoon as he walked to a local synagogue with his mother and a classmate.
Chaim Kraus was with his mother, Rochie Kraus, on Raritan Avenue, heading to Agudath Israel of Edison/Highland Park for Shabbos afternoon Pirchei groups when Shang Zhen Huang’s 2013 Lexus jumped the curb, striking mother and son near the intersection of Raritan Avenue and Columbia Road at 3:10 PM.
According to ABC News reports, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is holding Huang, who was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Both Krauses were rushed to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick where Chaim Kraus was pronounced dead at 3:39 PM. The 37 year old Mrs. Kraus suffered internal bleeding and underwent surgery. She is reportedly in serious but stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. The other boy walking with the Krauses escaped without injury. Huang was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries before being released to police.
The accident took place across the street from Glatt 27, Highland Park’s kosher supermarket, and the Agudah shul. According to Rena Teitelbaum, a friend of the Kraus family, cars often speed down Raritan Avenue, also known as Route 27, a busy four lane thoroughfare.
“It is a wild street,” Mrs. Teitelbaum told VIN News. “Police are always out there.”
NJ.com is reporting that Arthur, a 60 year old Raritan Avenue resident who declined to give his last name, said that he had often seen Mrs. Kraus walking on the block. He pointed to pieces of a broken trashcan located on the south side of Route 27 that was wrapped in yellow crime scene tape and noted that it is normally located on the north side of the roadway, but had ricocheted across all four lanes of traffic as a result of the crash.
“It was bad, very bad,” said Arthur, who said that four people had been in the car when it jumped the curb as it headed north on Raritan Avenue.
The levaya was delayed until this evening to allow both sets of grandparents who were out of town to return to the New York area. It will take place at 5:15 tonight at the Agudah, located at 1131 Raritan Avenue, followed by burial in Deans, New Jersey.
Chaim, who had three older sisters, was a first grader at Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion in Highland Park and representatives from Chai Lifeline were on hand in school today to speak to his 18 classmates.
“Chaim was the sweetest little boy,” said Mrs. Teitelbaum, whose son was a classmate of Chaim’s. “He was very gentle and played with everybody. Older boys who came to the classroom today were looking at his picture on the mitzvah chart and they commented that he had the most mitzvah notes. His section was completely covered.”
Mrs. Teitelbaum described the Kraus family as well known in the Highland Park community.
“They are very loving and very respected,” said Mrs. Teitelbaum. “The community is pretty shaken.”
A text message from Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler said that the borough was in a state of mourning following the fatal collision.
“The tragic accident yesterday has the entire community grieving,” said Mittler.
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