MAYS LANDING - A Pleasantville man was sentenced to five years in prison Friday, Oct. 4 for leaving the scene of a 2011 accident that resulted in the death of an 88-year-old woman, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said.
Jean A. Sene, 54, was convicted of second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The accident resultled in the death of Bu Do Jo of Atlantic City.
Do Jo was struck Dec. 3, 2011 by a taxicab driven by Sene while she crossed the 1300 block of Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, McClain said. She was then fatally struck by a jitney.
Sene left the scene and continued to operate his cab until he was stopped by Atlantic City police two hours later and charged with motor vehicle violations, police said.
Sene was criminally charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident after an investigation conducted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic City Police Department.
During the three-day-long trial, the defense alleged that Sene did not strike Do Jo and that she she fell while crossing the street and was then struck by the jitney. As a result, Sene felt he did not have to stop.
However, Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy showed that Sene struck Do Jo and knocked her into the path of the jitney. He then knowingly fled the scene, failing to speak to police or to render aid to the victim.
The court determined that while contact between the defendant’s cab and the victim can be disputed, it was not applicable to the charge he was being tried for. The court instructed the jury only to determine whether or not the defendant was involved in the accident and knowingly left the scene.
The jury returned a guilty verdict after less than 30 minutes of deliberation.
Prior to sentencing, the defense filed a motion for a new trial, which the court denied.
Prosecutors argued that Sene needed to be sentenced in the second-degree range as a deterrent to the public.
“Leaving the scene of a fatal accident was made a second-degree offense in order to deter people from fleeing and failing to aid injured victims and responding police when serious accidents occur,” Levy said.
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