New Jersey

4 Kids Struck by Pickup Truck in DUI Crash: Police

A driver was charged with DUI after police say he struck four children with his pickup truck.

Hector Rios, 48, of Wenolah, was arrested and charged with DUI causing serious bodily injury. 

Police say Rios had left a relative’s house and was driving north on Chestnut Avenue in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday. Rios was intoxicated at the time, according to investigators.

As he was driving, a 4-year-old girl, 15-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy and 4-year-old boy were playing outside a home on the 400 block of Chestnut Ave. Police say Rios lost control of his pickup truck, left the roadway, reentered it and then struck the four children. Rios continued driving in the woods, knocking down several trees that got stuck underneath his vehicle, police said. Police say the pickup truck finally came to a stop just before it entered the rail road tracks. 

Officials say Rios’ foot remained on the accelerator and a nearby resident had to break the passenger window to shut the truck off and get him out. 

All four children were injured in the crash. The 4-year-old girl was treated and released at Inspira Hospital. The teen girl and 4-year-old boy were treated at Cooper Hospital for bumps and bruises and later released. The 8-year-old boy underwent surgery in the trauma unit at Cooper after suffering dental and jaw injuries as well as cuts and bruises. 

Rios is currently lodged in the Salem County Jail in default of $25,000 bail. Police say the investigation is ongoing. 

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