Car crash kills two

EDISON – A car crash in Edison, on Cedar Lane, has left two people dead and one facing manslaughter charges, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to a statement released by the prosecutor, a 2003 Acura TL was driving south on Cedar Lane around 9:33 p.m. on July 3 when, according to witnesses, the driver lost control of the car and hit the curb before colliding with the utility pole, causing one passenger, Amarinder Cheema, 24, from Highland Park, to fly out of the car as it overturned and landed on its roof. Cheema and the other passenger, Karin Bhandari, also 24 and from Highland Park, were pronounced dead at the scene at 11 p.m. Autopsies performed on the two men revealed that they had died from blunt-force injuries received during the crash.

The driver, Kapil Goel, survived and was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where he was listed in “critical” condition. He was medically discharged from the hospital on July 7.

That same day, he was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, by way of criminal complaint. The complaint alleges that Goel had recklessly caused the death of the two passengers due to reckless speeding and driving while intoxicated.

Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Sewitch said that Goel’s exact speed that night is still under investigation, but that there are witnesses’ estimates. Sewitch also said that Goel was not given a breath analysis test but was given a blood test while he was in the hospital.

Goel’s bail was set at $1 million with no 10 percent option by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Joseph Rea. He was taken into custody shortly after being discharged from the hospital.

Anyone with information about the fatal crash is asked to call Investigator Sean O’Lone of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office’s Fatal Crash Investigation Unit at 732-745-3315 or Sgt. Dominick Masi of the Edison Police Department at 732-248-7575.

The prosecutor’s statement noted that Kapil Goel, as are all criminal defendants, is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

– Chris Gaetano