WAYNE, N.J. -- A drunk driver had to be extricated from his overturned SUV after it barreled into the woods in Wayne just after midnight on New Year's Eve, authorities said.
A passenger also fled the scene, but police followed his footprints in the snow and found him passed out over a fence, Detective Capt. Lawrence W. Martin said
Jorge Aliaga, 52, of Wayne, was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson by the Wayne Volunteer Memorial First Aid Squad after members cut him from a 2011 Honda Pilot, with help from township firefighters, following the 12:30 a.m. crash off Preakness Avenue, Martin said.
He was charged with DWI and received summonses for not having a driver's license or insurance, among other offenses, the captain said.
His passenger was taken to St. Joe's, as well.
A witness told police the vehicle "drove straight off the roadway and into a wooded area," where it crashed, Martin said.
The passenger then took off, leaving Aliaga behind, he said.
Officers Jonathan Donado and Officers Ken Hart followed his bloody footprints and found the passenger, unconscious and "draped over a fence bleeding from his forehead," the captain said.
"Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes," Martin said. "That's one person every 50 minutes."
That added up to more than 10,000 DWI-related deaths last year, he said.
"The Wayne Police Department is committed to combating this statistic and helping reduce these events and save lives," the captain said.
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