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Franklin Lakes Police Nab Motorist Fleeing Mahwah Crash

Matthew Thomas
Matthew Thomas Photo Credit: COURTESY: Surry County (NC) Community Corrections

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. -- Franklin Lakes police nabbed a North Carolina motorist after their Mahwah colleagues said he left the scene of an accident.

The other driver notified Mahwah police that 19-year-old Matthew Thomas of Mount Airy intended to take off after the Route 287 crash around 9 a.m. Monday.

"By the time we arrived the driver had left," Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said Wednesday, "so we put an alert out for the vehicle."

Franklin Lakes police stopped the car a short time later and took Thomas into custody.

They charged him with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and bogus license plates, as well as reckless driving, making an unsafe lane change, having drugs in the car and not carrying liability insurance, Franklin Lakes Police Capt. John Bakelaar said.

Thomas, who was released under New Jersey's 2017 Bail Reform & Speedy Trial Act, likely faces leaving-the-scene-of-an-accident charges in Mahwah, Batelli said.

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