Police lieutenant charged with trying to interfere with investigation into traffic death caused by his son

A New Jersey police lieutenant is facing charges that he used his position to interfere in an investigation into a fatal car accident last Halloween involving his son, who is also a police officer, NBC News reports.

Damian Dymka, a nurse, was killed while walking along the Garden State Parkway on Nov. 1, 2021. Prosecutors say Newark Police Lt. Luis Santiago’s 25-year-old son, Louis Santiago, was off duty and drunk when he crashed into Dymka.

Louis reportedly didn’t render aid or call the police after the crash. Instead, he and his passenger, Alberto Guzman, loaded Dymka into the back of his vehicle and drove to his home. He later drove back to the scene with Dymka's body and called police. Dymka, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:27 a.m., roughly two and a half hours after he was hit. Louis Santiago, his mother and Guzman were all charged after the incident.

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Last Friday, Lt. Luis Santiago was charged with hindering prosecution, conspiracy to hinder prosecution and official misconduct.

Friends of Dymka previously told NBC News that he may still be alive if Louis had rendered aid.

“We can’t know that because of one person who was incredibly selfish,” said Miranda Stone, who met Dymka when they were students at Bergen Community College.