An Egg Harbor Township man was arraigned Monday on charges related to a motor vehicle accident that ended the life of a 16-year-old boy.
William Michael Simkins, 31, appeared Monday morning in Egg Harbor Township Municipal Court, where the charges were filed. He faces charges of reckless driving, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and failure to report a motor vehicle accident.
Prosecutors say Simkins hit Jacob Broschard, who was riding his bicycle with two friends on Jerome Avenue in the Scullville section of the township, in the early hours of Sept. 6 and fled without stopping.
The case will be forwarded to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Ted Housel said last week that there is an ongoing criminal investigation into the incident.
The next step would be to present the charges to a grand jury for possible indictment. The grand jury is closed, and a schedule of when each case is heard is never made public.
A person who attended court with Simkins Monday said the defendant is retaining a lawyer. When asked by a Press of Atlantic City reporter if he would like to comment following his arraignment, Simkins declined.
“No thank you,” he said.
Police and the Prosecutor’s Office have released few details about the events leading up to the crash. Several people have posted speculations about the circumstances of the accident on The Press’ website and on social-networking sites. But factual details have been hard to come by.
The victim’s mother, Mimi Broschard, spoke to The Press last week, and said she asked that friends and relatives not speak to the media and to allow the family to grieve. She also asked that no one set up a roadside memorial.
A small memorial — containing silk flowers and a balloon reading “Thinking of You” — was seen Monday afternoon at the intersection of Royal and Jerome Avenues, about a block away from where Broschard’s body was found.
Yellow police paint and a faint skid mark were still visible on Jerome Avenue, leading about 60 feet to the intersection with Robert Best Avenue, where the accident took place.
John Biddle, who lives near that intersection, said Monday that a couple of small memorials had been set up, but were taken down by the next morning.
A Press reporter canvassed the neighborhood where the accident occurred Monday afternoon to talk to residents about the tragedy, but most neighbors declined to comment Monday afternoon.
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