Federal indictment cites 2018 car crash involving Nadine Menendez where a pedestrian was fatally struck

According to a police report, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, the spouse of Senator Bob Menendez, was involved in a car accident in 2018 that resulted in a pedestrian’s death. The incident, which occurred prior to her marriage to the New Jersey Democrat, is believed to have led to a bribery scheme as per the federal indictment against the couple.

A recent report from the police department of Bogota, New Jersey states that Nadine Menendez was involved in a fatal accident in December 2018. The victim, 49-year-old Richard Koop, was hit by Menendez’s Mercedes-Benz sedan and unfortunately lost his life. Menendez was the only person driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

According to the police report, Nadine Menendez was questioned and found not responsible for the accident. She was released without any summons and permitted to leave the scene. The report also states that the pedestrian, Koop, was jaywalking at the time of the crash.

As reported by The New York Times, Nadine Menendez’s blood was not tested for drugs or alcohol following the accident. It was stated that authorities need to establish probable cause that the driver was impaired before conducting such tests, as confirmed by Joseph Rotella, a former president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey.

According to a report by The New York Times, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has chosen not to press charges against her. CNN has yet to receive a response from the office regarding this matter.

CNN contacted Nadine Menendez’s lawyer for comment regarding the car crash. According to the lawyer’s interview with the Times, they stated that the crash was a “tragic accident” and not connected to Menendez’s current charges.

According to David Schertler, the individual ran in front of the car and the driver was not responsible for the incident.

CNN has obtained surveillance footage that seems to depict Nadine Menendez hitting a pedestrian with her car and then not checking on him for seven whole minutes. In the video, Menendez remains in her vehicle after the collision, seemingly ignoring the injured pedestrian.

As part of a public records request, the Bogota Police Department has shared a video with us.

In the surveillance footage, which lasts for nearly 8 minutes and is captured in black-and-white, the car driven by the individual in question can be seen hitting a pedestrian and a parked car before coming to a stop. The car then reverses slightly and remains stationary for approximately a minute before driving out of the range of the surveillance video.

As the pedestrian lay on the ground, dozens of cars drove by without stopping before a small group of individuals gathered around him. It took about four and a half minutes for the first police unit to arrive after the pedestrian was struck.

The police conducted an interview with Nadine Menendez about half an hour after the accident, as shown in the dash camera footage.

On Wednesday, Senator Menendez spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill about the car crash.

Expressing his condolences, the Democrat referred to the incident as a tragic accident while emphasizing the importance of keeping the family in our thoughts during this difficult time.

The federal indictment released last month against Nadine Menendez, her senator husband, and three others has gained new context with the recently uncovered information about the 2018 car crash. You can find additional details about the indictment on CNN.

The indictment reveals that Nadine Menendez was in a car accident in December 2018 that resulted in her losing her vehicle.

According to the indictment, Wael Hana and Jose Uribe, who are co-defendants in the case, are accused of providing Nadine Menendez with a brand new Mercedes-Benz convertible valued over $60,000 in exchange for Senator Menendez’s intervention in a New Jersey state criminal prosecution involving one of Uribe’s associates and an associated state criminal investigation concerning one of Uribe’s employees.

As per the indictment, Senator Menendez reportedly consented to interfering with criminal affairs in New Jersey.

Bob and Nadine Menendez have both entered not guilty pleas for the three counts they are facing in the alleged bribery conspiracy. The three co-defendants involved have similarly denied the charges against them.

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