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Bergen prosecutor: Wrong-way driver drunk in Route 46 head-on crash in Elmwood Park

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Both drivers were arrested and charged in a wrong-way head-on crash on Route 46 in Elmwood Park before dawn this morning that seriously injured a 25-year-old Lyndhurst female passenger, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon.

Stephen Baker, 25, of Newark was drunk and driving west in the eastbound lanes of the highway when his 2000 Mitsubishi GS slammed into a 1970 Mercury Cougar driven by 25-year-old Harry Halvorson III of Wallington at about 1:30 a.m. today, the prosecutor said.

“The Cougar immediately caught fire and began burning on the roadway (when) two good Samaritans in the area pulled Halvorsen’s passenger … from the burning car,” Molinelli said.

All three are Garfield firefighters: Lt. Joseph Kopacz, his brother Nick and their father Keith, all of Fire Company #5, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

She was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with what the prosecutor said were serious injuries.

Detectives from Molinelli’s Fatal Accident Investigation Unit teamed up with their colleagues from Elmwood Park police and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and learned that Baker was DWI and that Halverson – like Baker – was driving with a suspended license, he said.

Baker was being held on $10,000 bail, charged with assault by auto, driving while on the suspended list and being involved in a serious crash involving injuries while suspended. He also received traffic summonses for DWI, reckless driving and driving while unlicensed or suspended.

Halvorsen was charged with criminally driving while suspended and and being involved in a serious crash involving injuries while suspended. He received summonses related to the suspension and was ordered held on $2,500 bail, the prosecutor said.

MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

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