Child killed, mother injured during Shabbat walk

Child killed, mother injured during Shabbat walk

A six-year-old Highland Park boy was killed and his mother badly injured while walking near their synagogue Shabbat afternoon, Jan. 16.

Chaim Kraus and his mother, Rochel, 37, were walking on the sidewalk when a car driven by Shang Zhen Huang, 21, of Piscataway jumped the curb near the intersection of Raritan Avenue (Route 27) and Columbia Avenue in Highland Park. The site is near the synagogue, Agudath Israel of Edison/Highland Park.

According to people familiar with the incident, the car hit a concrete container surrounding municipal trash cans along the street with such force it broke it apart. Another child reportedly with them was uninjured. 

Rochel Kraus was rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with critical injuries and taken into emergency surgery. As of Jan. 19, she was listed in serious but stable condition, according to the hospital.

In a joint press release from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Highland Park Police Chief Stephen J. Rizco, the accident occurred at 3:10 p.m. on Jan. 16. The child was pronounced dead at 3:39 p.m. at the hospital. 

Huang, who was treated for minor injuries, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail. Police are still investigating the incident. 

Police have determined that Huang was heading north on Raritan Avenue toward Edison, when his 2013 Lexus jumped the curb and hit the two victims.

A funeral for Chaim Kraus was held at the synagogue Jan. 17.

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