Driver Faces Charges After Allegedly Fleeing Crash That Killed Cyclist

SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–A Matawan man was charged with causing the death of a bicyclist, according to a January 23 press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO). 

Francis Smith, age 56, was charged with aggravated manslaughter, death by auto, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash involving fatal injuries, according to the release.

The fatal crash occurred six days before the announcement, and five days after 57-year-old South Amboy resident William Nash succumbed to his head injuries.

Nash was struck from behind by a 2012 Hyundai Sonata being driven by Smith, while he was riding his bicycle near the intersection of Route 9 and Main Street, according to authorities.

"Smith fled the scene but was apprehended a half-mile away when his car hit a curb and was disabled," reads the MCPO press release, which notes the original charges filed against Smith included driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault and fleeing.

Nash died the following day, on January 18, after being taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and the additional charges were filed on January 22.

The charges were filed as the result of an investigation by Officer Steven Clark of the South Amboy Police Department and Detective Donald Heck of the MCPO.

"Smith has been in custody since he initially was charged with injuring Mr. Nash," reads the release.

The investigation is active and continuing, and authorities have asked anyone with information to call Officer Clark at (732) 721-0111, or Detective Heck at (732) 745-8842.

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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 and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.