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EDISON, NJ—Askari Moore had just turned eleven less than a month before his untimely death on May 20, when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Urviben Parikh in the parking lot of the Durham Woods apartments.
Moore died from his injuries sufferred in the crash, which took place at approimately 6:41pm.
The Lincoln Elementary School student left behind a loving mother, Shakera Moore, and a heartbroken community.
That community has so far raised over $25,000 on the online fundraising platform GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.
Shakera Moore told News 12 that her and her son had previously lived in New Brunswick, but moved to Edison “to give [Askari] a better place to live.”
That report also said the driver had been arrested, but the Middlesex County jail confirmed that no one by that name has been incarcerated there.
Meanwhile, neighbors told journalists of an “out of control” vehicle that took Askari Moore’s life.
“A resident… lost control of her car as she was leaving a parking space, slammed into dumpsters, slammed into parked cars and slammed into Askari on his skateboard,” reported ABC New York’s Toni Yates, citing what she was told by neighbors.
But many questions still remain unanswered, and so far authorities have had little to say, releasing only a brief statement, and a two-page police report that lacks a diagram or description of what happened.
Two weeks after the tragedy, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) still has not announced any charges in the incident, in stark contrast to how it has handled other crash investigations.
The two-page “crash investigation form” filled out by an officer with the Edison Police Department provides precious little additonal information about the incident, offering nothing at all in the “crash description” section.
The document was provided to New Brunswick Today in response to an Open Public Records Act request, the only way we can get information from the MCPO thanks to their recent removal of NBToday reporters from their media list, the second time the publication has been blacklisted because of its adversarial coverage.
The first page identifies Urviben Parikh as the driver of the vehicle, even though the MCPO was attempting to withold that information from the public.
“The identity of the driver is being withheld at this time since no charges have been filed,” reads one of the lines in MCPO’s five-sentence press release on the fatal crash.
Since then, the agency has been silent about the incident, and refused to answer our question about why no charges have been filed against the 37-year-old driver.
The driver was behind the wheel of a 2009 Honda Accord, according to the report, and had two passengers including the owner of the vehicle.
According to the report, two parked vehicles were also involved in the crash, a 2016 Honda CRV and a 2008 Lexus ES. Police impounded the vehicle that struck them, and left the two victim vehicles at the scene.
Meanwhile, Moore was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead at 7:18pm.
According to the crash report, Urbiven was given a blood test for “alcohol/drugs,” but the results are only listed as “Pending.”
In January, the MCPO filed charges against a driver who killed a 6-year-old boy in Highland Park and announced those charges to the public within 24 hours of the fatal crash.
Three days later, the MCPO issued an additional press release announcing even more charges against the driver.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Joseph Chonka of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7400.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.