Wednesday, December 30, 2015

County lawman quits as pedestrian-death probe drags on

Hue D. Dang, 64, was walking in or near this Jackson Avenue crosswalk in Hackensack last March 9, when she was struck and fatally injured by an unmarked car driven by John C. Straniero, a detective sergeant in the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. Hackensack police investigated, but brought no charges against him in her death. 

Dang was struck only blocks from her apartment on Hudson Street in Hackensack. This photo shows markings left by investigators, and the woman's blood staining the pavement, right. At the urging of Eye on The Record, the Union County Prosecutor's Office took up the investigation, which still is open.


The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office detective sergeant whose car struck and fatally injured a Hackensack woman has retired.

John C. Straniero, then 49, apparently was driving to his home in Wayne last March 9, when he started to turn right on Jackson Avenue and Kennedy Street in Hackensack, near Route 80, and struck Hue D. Dang, 64.

The Vietnamese-American woman, who was carrying plastic grocery bags, was pronounced dead at a hospital less than an hour after the 4:45 p.m. accident.

After Hackensack police cleared Straniero of any wrongdoing, Eye on The Record contacted the state police and Attorney General's Office, which asked the Union County Prosecutor's Office to investigate further.

That probe is ongoing, a spokesman for the office said this morning, but he would not discuss why it is taking so long.

See: Union prosecutor to review Hackensack death

Single story

The Record published a single story about the accident on March 11, but Staff Writer Stafanie Dazio didn't mention the crosswalk or whether the woman was in it when she was hit.

When asked this morning, Maureen Parenta of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said Straniero had retired.

Parenta, the prosecutor's communication director, wasn't available later in the day to provide any details.

The victim's family has filed a notice that it intends to sue the detective in her death.

The report filed by Hackensack police shows the approximate location of the unmarked car and the woman after she was struck on Jackson Avenue and Kennedy Street. But the diagram is at variance with markings on the pavement made after the accident.

Local news?

Readers looking for local or even regional news on Page 1 of The Record strike out again.

Unless they're as consumed as reporters are with how Governor Christie will do at the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 1, local readers threw away their money today.

The headline over Charles Stile's boring political column contains the phrase "turn silent," leading many readers to wonder when the burned-out reporter will do just that (A-1).

For the second day in a row, Local reads more like a police blotter, with a couple of court stories thrown in, than a section devoted to news of Bergen County towns. 

The lead story is about more gun violence in Paterson, and Bergen readers are cheated even more by six other Passaic County stories, both long and short (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).

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