South Jersey couple arrested a year after deadly hit-and-run
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP — A township woman is accused of a deadly hit-and-run just over a year ago. Her husband, was her passenger, also is accused of helping her keep the incident under wraps.
Burlington County officials charged 35-year-old Tonya Brown with striking and killing 72-year-old Ronald Zukowski, of the Browns Mills section, as he was crossing Lakehurst Road.
Brown was driving a Nissan Pathfinder with 44-year-old Victor Brown as a passenger about 7 p.m. Dec. 27, 2019, when the SUV struck Zukowski, officials said.
According to prosecutors, the vehicle sped away without stopping to provide help, as the Browns instead drove to a property on Bayberry Street and covered their SUV with a tarp.
Paint chips taken from Zukowski’s clothing were compared and matched to chips taken from the couple's Pathfinder by State Police forensic investigators, officials said.
Zukowski was memorialized by his friend and boss at Riccardo's Italian Restaurant, Vito Russo, in an emotional Facebook post on New Year's Eve 2019, which said Zukowski was survived by his wife and their son and daughter.
The Browns were arrested last Tuesday.
Tonya Brown is charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident, third-degree endangering an injured victim and third-degree causing death while driving unlicensed.
She and Victor Brown are each charged with third-degree hindering apprehension and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.
Tonya Brown was taken to Atlantic County Jail in Mays Landing, while Victor Brown was being held at Burlington County Jail, ahead of a Wednesday detention hearing in Superior Court.