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Bayville Man Charged in Lacey Township Fatal Hit-and-Run

A Berkeley Township 27-year-old accused of plowing into a pedestrian on Route 9 in Lacey Township late Monday night is held on $200,000 bail following his arrest only minutes after the incident.

Patrick Clayton
Patrick Clayton (Ocean County Jail)

Patrick Clayton of Bayville faces second degree charges of death by auto and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash resulting in death. Both carry possible prison terms of five to 10 years if convicted. Authorities also leveled a third-degree charge of causing death to another while driving with a suspended license.

Clayton also was the subject of three active warrants, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

Details released from the investigation say that Clayton was northbound on the highway in a 200 Dodge Ram 1500 van shortly before midnight when he drifted across the center line and southbound lane, onto the shoulder. Marcelo Romano Nolazco, 37, of Forked River, walking north on the southbound shoulder, was hit from behind and pronounced dead on the spot at 12:15 AM, authorities said.

Jose Sanchez, 38, also of Forked River, was walking with Nolazco and was grazed but unhurt, investigators said.

Clayton continued driving, parking in the nearby Applebee’s lot and entering the restaurant. Lacey Township police, given a description of the van by Sanchez, spotted it in the lot and apprehended Clayton. Investigating officers were granted a search warrant for Clayton’s blood by phone from an Ocean County Superior Court judge.

Clayton was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River to await proceedings.

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