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Paterson Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Hit-And-Run Accident

James Reinhardt, 34, of Paterson, could get six years behind bars for the 2015 hit-and-run death of a 16-year-old city boy when he is sentenced in September.
James Reinhardt, 34, of Paterson, could get six years behind bars for the 2015 hit-and-run death of a 16-year-old city boy when he is sentenced in September. Photo Credit: Courtesy Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

PATERSON, N.J. – A driver who struck and killed a Paterson teenager in 2015 has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes announced Friday.

James Reinhardt, 34, also of Paterson, hit 16-year-old Javier Burgos as he was riding his bike near the intersection of Beech and Oak streets in the city’s Sandy Hill neighborhood last August.

Reinhardt drove away, leaving the fatally injured youth lying on the ground. Burgos was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to a report by northjersey.com, friends said Burgos was a friendly kid who loved to listen to reggaeton, Jamaican music with a hint of Latino flavor. He attended Eastside High School, but had left to work as an automobile mechanic, friends told northjersey.com.

Reinhardt, whose license had been suspended multiple times, gave himself up to police two days later, multiple media reports said.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of endangering an injured victim, Valdes said.

Reinhardt could get six years in state prison when he is sentenced in September.

Had he not pleaded guilty and been tried and convicted, he could have gotten 20 years behind bars.

To read the full northjersey.com story, click here.

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