Hillside police officer charged for killing two on Garden State Parkway

A Hillside police officer on his way to work was charged with causing a horrific crash when his pickup went off the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls and crashed into a couple in October.

John P. McClave III, 34, a Toms River resident has been charged with two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide.

On October 9, 2021 around 7:30 p.m., members of the Tinton Falls Police Department and Wayside Fire Company were dispatched to Asbury Avenue, in the area of the Parkway overpass, regarding a car accident.

Those involved in the collision were McClave, a member of the Hillside Police Department, who was driving a pick-up truck, and 40-year-old Angel L. Acevedo, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland driving a Toyota Corolla and his wife 35-year-old Daniela Correia Salles in the passenger seat.

Hillside police officer John P. McClave III, 34, a Toms River resident, was arrested for causing a fatal car collision that killed two people on October 9, 2021, when his car drifted off the Garden State Parkway.

According to police, both Acevedo and Salles sustained multiple severe injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Acevedo was born in Long Branch, NJ and grew up in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, attending Henry Hudson Regional School. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Dartmouth College then later completed his Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Correia Salles grew up in Salvador, Brazil. She was a Doctor of Pathology who immigrated to the US to further her career at John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

McClave was brought to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The investigation determined that McClave was driving recklessly while under the influence of intoxicating substances.

Investigators also determined that McClave’s car did not change direction or slow down significantly after it left the Parkway lanes. As a result, his car became airborne after hitting a barrier and eventually hit the car occupied by the victims.

McClave was additionally issued summonses for reckless driving, failure to maintain lanes, failure to wear a seatbelt, and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

“This officer’s actions on the night of the collision far crossed the line separating passive negligence from active criminality, and as a result, a married couple have lost their lives,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey. “We hope today’s announcement brings their loved ones some semblance of solace in knowing that the first steps have been taken towards achieving justice.”

If convicted of a second-degree offense of this nature, McClave would be subject to a term of up to 10 years in state prison, with 85 percent of the term to be served before the possibility of parole for each count, according to the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Kristian DeVito toll-free at 1-800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Patrolman David Ebert at 732-542-4422.

The Prosecutor’s Office is filing a motion to have McClave detained pending the resolution of this case.

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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