Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run identified, police say an arrest is ‘imminent’

Neal Crews

Neal Crews

A pedestrian who was killed by a hit-and-run motorist earlier this month has been identified as 33-year-old Neal J. Crews, and police say an arrest is imminent.

Crews was hit by someone driving a white van near the intersection of Rusling and Liberty streets on the night of June 15.

Officials say the van was later found abandoned on Cummings Avenue, not too far from the accident scene.

Police say damage to the van was “consistent with the crash,” and that they have spoken to the owner of the vehicle who says someone else was driving it at the time of the accident.

The van’s owner is cooperating with the investigation, according to police officials who say an arrest is “imminent.”

Neal Crews is related to Tracy Crews, a convicted drug dealer and Bloods gang member who was murdered inside his Whittaker Avenue residence during a botched home invasion robbery in September 2008.

Officials say Neal had a tattoo on his right bicep in remembrance of his brother Tracy — also known as Looch — which cops used to help identify him after the fatal hit-and-run.

Neal also had a tattoo on his forearm that said, “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.”

Police say Neal’s last known address was at the Rescue Mission on Carroll Street.

Struggling with the loss of another relative, the Crews family created a GoFundMe page seeking donations to help with funeral costs and arrangements.

Neal didn’t have insurance but we want to make sure he has the proper burial,” the fundraising page says.

A number of Neal’s family and friends expressed their grief on social media.

You was always like a son to me it hurts so much to realize you won’t be here anymore,” Barbara Portis wrote on Facebook. “I know you are in safe hands now Looch will watch over you.”

When the driver of the van that hit Neal is apprehended, he or she will likely be charged with death by auto because they left the scene of a fatal accident.

According to the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, vehicular homicides are considered manslaughter and are, therefore, not reported as a homicide statistic.

The Trentonian, however, includes death by auto and justifiable police shootings in its yearly homicide count.

So far this year, 11 people have been killed in the capital city, which includes Neal’s death, the murder of a newborn found abandoned inside a city home and the death of Tahaij Wells, who was killed by police during a shootout at Art All Night last week.

Trentonian staff writer Isaac Avilucea contributed to this report.

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