An arrest was made today in the hit-and-run involving Montclair State University student Anna Semioli, according to the Clifton Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Michael Choynowski, 27, from North Arlington, turned himself in to authorities. He is being charged with “knowingly leaving the scene of motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injuries” and “endangering an injured victim,” both third-degree crimes which carry a sentence of 3 to 5 years, according to Sergeant Robert Bracken of the Clifton Police Department. He was arraigned at Clifton Municipal Court and bail was set at $30,000.
Choynowski was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, similar to the vehicle description released by the police yesterday, near the Valley Road exit on Rt. 46, where he struck Semioli and fled the scene on Friday, Oct. 9 at 12:03 a.m.
“The charging of Choynowski is the result of an intensive investigation by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and the Clifton Police Department. The investigation concerned reviewing recovered video of the area, identification of the vehicle’s driver, recovery of the vehicle and the interviewing of possible witnesses,” said Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes in a press release.
Chief Paul Cell of the Montclair State University Police Department alerted the campus community with an email, in which he said, “We will continue to work closely with the Passaic [County] Prosecutor’s Office and the Clifton Police Department to create a time-line of events that led to this accident. We urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to come forward and speak with investigators.”
Semioli remains in critical condition at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, surrounded by her family whose plea for answers has been met.
Kristen Bryfogle and Shakeema Edwards contributed to this article.