Leo Strazzeri

Leo Strazzeri, 42, of Galloway Township, is accused of striking Daniel Tavarez as the victim rode his motorized wheelchair through the crosswalk at Route 30 and Pennsylvania Avenue in Atlantic City on July 9.


MAYS LANDING — A Galloway man was indicted this week on charges of leaving the scene of an accident that killed an Atlantic City man in a wheelchair last summer.

Daniel Tavarez, 45, was heading to the store from his apartment in Atlantic City’s High Gate to buy milk for a friend at about 9:30 p.m. July 9, when he was struck by a car. The car left the scene and was later found unoccupied.

Leo Strazzeri, 42, was found at his job at Revel, where he is a dealer, and taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus for blood and urine tests.

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He was arrested 10 days later, after an investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Collisions Unit and the Atlantic City Police Department’s Accident Bureau led acting county Prosecutor Jim McClain to authorize a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Strazzeri on the second-degree charge.

Strazzeri has denied involvement.

“We’re anxious to see the evidence that the state has collected,” defense attorney Steve Scheffler said Wednesday. “We maintain the position we have from the beginning, that he’s innocent of the charges. I’m curious to see how the state is even targeting him in the case.”

Strazzeri also was charged with multiple motor-vehicle violations, including leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, being an uninsured motorist and reckless driving.

Tavarez was crossing Absecon Boulevard at the crosswalk when he was struck, according to the police report. The car then kept going. Tavarez died at the scene of multiple traumatic injuries.

Strazzeri has been free on bail since July 20, a day after his arrest.

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