10 years after the deadly hit-and-run accident in North Bergen, the victim’s family is still seeking to shut it down

More than a decade after a hit-and-run accident in North Bergen killed beloved bodybuilder Omar Munrouge, his family is still searching for closure.

On March 23, 2012, Omar was hit by a Toyota Camry in the early 2000s when he was crossing 51st Street and Tonnelle Street in North Bergen on his way to have drinks at a local Cuban restaurant with a friend. While he was seriously injured, it seemed at times that the 42-year-old was about to pass and his family had hoped for it.

In an interview with Hudson ReporterOmar’s brother, Georgie, said he survived longer than most people’s lives. After the accident, Omar had a broken neck, a broken leg, a broken shoulder, and internal bleeding.

“Omar was a bull that wanted to live,” Georgie said. “It took him eight days for him to die from his wounds. Most people don’t survive that long.”

However, Omar eventually died of his injuries days later on April 1, 2012. His killer, the car driver that night, is still at large.

Omar was 42 years old when he died.

10 years cold condition

While there was traffic camera footage of the hit-and-run accident, the quality was low due to the darkness in the area; Only the vehicle can be recognized, not the license plate. The family was able to obtain the video through a private investigator who sent him to reinforce him in Alabama. However, the facility gave it back for free since there was nothing that could be done to prevent further pixel breakdown. This meant that it could not have been improved, and that Jorge and the family were back to square one.

In March of 2017, five years after the hit-and-run incident that killed Omar, the special statute of limitations for the manslaughter vehicle in the case expired, the North Bergen Police Department confirmed to Hudson Reporter on time. However, Georgie said he wanted to know more about the statute of limitations for the case and reached out to a lawyer for more information.

Regardless, Georgie and family urged the car driver or anyone with any information about who might apply. He said the case remains unresolved, although the family still hopes that one day the case will be closed.

“Hopefully someone will come one day because we want those answers that we never got at night,” George said. When Omar passed away, we didn’t know why this person didn’t stop. Many questions are left unanswered. One day we want to know who this person is. We also want to shed some light on Omar’s story.”

An old picture of Nick, Omar and Maribel.

The heart is bigger than the biceps

According to Jorge, Omar was very close and dear to those around him.

“Omar was my best friend,” Georgie said. “I didn’t know that at the time because we were brothers, but he was really my best friend. He is a wonderful person. I think about him more all the time. I miss Omar. He loved to celebrate birthdays.”

A few days after Omar’s 42nd birthday, on March 21, 2012, he lost his life. He was on his way to celebrate with a friend on March 23 when he was hit by a hit-and-run driver.

And his birthday wasn’t what he enjoyed. Omar was fond of celebrating other people’s birthdays, like George, in a similar way.

“Omar loved celebrating birthdays, it was such an amazing event and something we always enjoy,” said Georgie. “I loved having dinner with him, and breaking bread. Birthdays with him would not only be one day, but almost a week.”

Jorge and the rest of the Omar family certainly haven’t forgotten him.

“We think about him a lot,” Jorge said. “We have a lot of pictures of Omar.”

According to Jorge, since it all happened, many people have sent positive information and messages to the family. Omar left behind his wife Maribel and their son Nick. According to Jorge, Nick still lives and works in Butler where they used to live.

“Nick is a slice of the old block,” Jorge said. “He also works as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.”

Omar could have become a professional if he had won a bodybuilding competition just weeks before his untimely death.

Rising bodybuilder

In addition to his love for his family and good general nature, Omar was also known as a rising and semi-professional bodybuilder.

Jorge said what started as a passion has grown exponentially from there. Prior to that, he was a successful contractor to a company on cellular sites to build towers.

“It started as a hobby,” Georgie said. “He was good at it.”

Omar was addicted to working out, six times a week, twice a day. Georgie said he does cardio during the day and lift weights at night.

What had begun as a hobby quickly set Omar on the path to professionalism. The Bloomfield Plaza gym he frequents has nurtured him as a bodybuilder.

Omar, 42, was just weeks away from the Garden State Classic, which was subsequently held in his honor. The 5’11, 256lb strongman was a professional bodybuilder with a number of titles and awards from various national bodybuilding competitions, although Omar was not someone to brag about.

“Omar was one of the candidates,” Georgie said. “Muscle Maker Grill wanted Omar to come and take pictures. He was one of the candidates for this event.”

According to George, Omar’s soft nature and great stature made him a “gentle giant”. This only added to the bitterness of the driver who hit him, Jorge said.

“I want this person to be ashamed of what he did that night, because he left so many unanswered questions,” said George. “We want to know who this person who was driving was. We want to know why this person did not stop that night. We were shocked that he did not stop that night to help Omar. Driving in this way made the wound deeper.”

Police sketch of the driver believed to have killed Omar Munrouge. Image courtesy of North Bergen Police Department.

Still searching for the driver

There is no evidence in the cold case yet, more than a decade later. The North Bergen Police Department recently dedicated a social media account to Omar’s memorial on the 10th anniversary of his death, and also published a sketch of the alleged driver that night.

While the case prompted the town to upgrade its cameras to better suit low-light, Jorge still sought the driver to come forward. He also wants to share knowledge of Omar’s case to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

“I know the town of North Bergen improved their system, but the person had to stop as well,” Jorge said.

Jorge and his family have not given up on finding who was behind it, no matter how much time has passed: “We still want to know who did it no matter what the time frame. We want to shed some light on what happened ten years ago. And if it can help In changing some things where they have better lighting or cameras, like in North Bergen town, or other similar places, that would be fine.”

He continued, “We are disappointed that what happened to Omar was never resolved.”

For updates on this story and others, see www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: