Suspect in hit and run of MSU student, Anna Semioli, arrested.
Just before midnight on Thursday, Oct. 8, a 22 year old senior at Montclair State University, Anna Semioli, was struck by a Dodge Ram pick-up truck while she was walking east along Route 46 in Clifton. According to NJ News 12, she was found in a roadway by a tract of woods along the highway, while the perpetrator fled the scene. Semioli was hospitalized at St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in a coma, and as of the latest update she has yet to wake up. A resident of Moonachie, Semioli was “a great person” and loved dearly by friends and family, who have all relentlessly supported her through fundraisers and paintings of sunflowers for her to see when she wakes up.
The search for the driver took about a week, with the Montclair State University Police Department, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and Clifton Police Department, along with a $10,000 reward issued by Anna Semioli’s family to find who did this cowardly act.
Anna Semioli’s sister, Gianna Martino, wrote on her Facebook page: “Whoever did this to Annie will be caught. You know what happened. You need to tell the truth. It is a disgrace that you have waited this long. We are done waiting. We are coming for you. We will have justice for Annie!”
Sister Danielle Martino suspected foul-play, explaining to CBS New York: “Her car was there, but she was found miles away from her car, so it just, it doesn’t make sense. You know, we know Anna, and we know she wouldn’t be walking at midnight on a highway.”
Finally, on Thursday, Oct. 15, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office arrested 27 year old Michael Choynowski of North Arlington with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting In Serious Bodily Injury and Endangering an Injured Victim.
Students of Montclair State University have been keeping up with the incident since it happened last month. Elizabeth LaGrotteria, a sophomore commuter, was disheartened. “It’s sad to think that someone who could have been a classmate of even friend would do this to another person,” said LaGrotteria. “I’m just happy he got caught.”
Commuter student Marisa Michalchik considered being more careful when traveling on busy roads. “She was walking along the highway late at night, but that’s still no excuse for what the guy did,” said Michalchik. “It’s kind of a wake-up call to just be more careful when traveling around on busy roads around the school, because something like this could happen to anyone at any time.”