Planet Princeton

Princeton Resident Charged with Death by Auto in Riverside Drive Accident

Eric Maltz, 20, has been charged with one count of death by auto and one count of assault by auto following the Riverside Drive accident Thurday that killed one person and critically injured another.

Bail has been set at $100,000 and Maltz remains hospitalized and in police custody.

Several sources said Maltz had a long history of mental health issues and had recently been released from a psychiatric facility. A law enforcement source confirmed that Maltz is slated to be transferred to a psychiatric facility today.

The investigation into the accident is still active. Police are reviewing evidence about the contributing circumstances that led to the collision in front of Riverside Elementary School just after 9:40 a.m. Thursday.

Maltz, who lives on Braeburn Drive in Princeton,  was driving a BMW at a high speed, heading southbound on Riverside Drive when he hit an unoccupied Toyota Camry that was parked on the northbound side of the road.

Police said Maltz was traveling at 60 to 80 miles per hour and made no attempt to brake.

The BMW pushed the Camry backward almost 1,000 feet down the road, police said. The Prius, which was also parked along the curb line and occupied by the driver, Rabbi Robert Freedman, 63, of Princeton., was pushed along with it, and landed across the street, its rear striking a tree.

The Rabbi James Diamond, 74, was entering the passenger side of the Prius at the time of the collision and was thrown from car area because of the impact. When police and rescue workers arrived on the scene just after 9:40 a.m., they found him on the ground and he was unresponsive. He died at the scene.

The funeral service for Diamond is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Center in Princeton. Following the service he will be buried at the Washington Cemetery in Monmouth Junction.

Maltz and Freedman were taken to an area trauma center to be treated for their injuries.

Freedman, a rabbi and cantor who worked at the Jewish Center of Princeton for 14 years, is still hospitalized. He suffered sever facial trauma in the accident, sources said.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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