• Gabriel Donio

2nd pedestrian killed

Sept. 16 crash second fatal in less than a week


A local man was struck and killed while crossing 12th Street near the Atlantic City Expressway at 7:39 p.m. on September 16, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—A local man was struck and killed while crossing 12th Street near the Atlantic City Expressway at 7:39 p.m. on September 16, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said.


The vehicle was traveling northbound on 12th Street and the individual was crossing 12th Street in a westbound direction, Friel said.


The driver of the vehicle was Jayden Mastrogiacomo, 18, of Hammonton, Friel said. The pedestrian who was struck and killed was Aureliano Cantu, 42, of Hammonton, Friel said.


“Cantu was jogging across the street, then was sprinting across the street attempting to cross U.S. Route 54 in an area not designated for pedestrian crossing, resulting in him being impacted by the 2012 Ford Escape in the northbound lane of travel. He was transported by ambulance and later succumbed to his injuries,” Friel said.


Mastrogiacomo was also transported by ambulance for medical treatment of his injuries, Friel said.


Friel said Cpl. James Pinto is the investigating officer.


The crash was the second fatal accident regarding a pedestrian in less than a week. On the evening of September 11, a woman was killed when she was struck by a vehicle as she was crossing the White Horse Pike (Route 30).


In other police news, following up on an erratic driver call, police made a driving while under the influence (DWI) arrest at 5:03 p.m. on September 15 on the 400 block of 12th Street, Friel said.


K-9 Officer Jonathan O’Neil stopped a vehicle driven by Michelle Smolarski, 43, of Sayerville who was found to be operating her vehicle under the influence, Friel said.


She was transported to AtlantiCare Atlantic City for evaluation, Friel said.


Smolarski was processed and released as per John’s Law and received the following motor vehicle violations: driving while under the influence, obstructing passage of other vehicles, unsafe lane change and reckless driving, Friel said.


Friel said she was released pending a court appearance in Hammonton Joint Municipal Court.

O’Neil was the investigating and arresting officer, Friel said.


A warrant arrest was made at 6:13 p.m. on September 18 on the 400 block of N. Second Street, Friel said.


Officer Travis Hoffman observed Kristian Rueda, 22, of Hammonton, who was found to have an active NCIC warrant, Friel said.


Rueda was placed under arrest, transported to the Hammonton Police Department for processing and transported to the Atlantic County Jail on the warrant, Friel said.


Hoffman was the investigating and arresting officer, Friel said.