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Parsekian v. Cresse

Decided: July 5, 1962.

NED J. PARSEKIAN, DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WADSWORTH CRESSE, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Conford, Gaulkin and Kilkenny. The opinion of the court was delivered by Gaulkin, J.A.D.

Gaulkin

This is an appeal by defendant Cresse from an order of the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Law and Public Safety, suspending his motor vehicle driving privileges for one year. Cresse's automobile had collided with one driven by Charles Bailey on December 3, 1960, at about 1:35 P.M. in clear, dry weather. The collision occurred in the intersection of two public highways, Tanyard Road and Salina Road in Deptford Township, Gloucester County. Prior to the collision, defendant's vehicle was traveling in a westerly direction along Salina Road and the Bailey vehicle was driven southerly along Tanyard Road. As a result of the collision Bailey was injured and one Salvatore Villari, a passenger in the Bailey car, lost his life.

On or about March 10, 1961 defendant received notice that the Director proposed to revoke his driving privileges effective April 9, 1961 unless prior to that date defendant made written application for a hearing. The notice said the action was being taken because Cresse had operated "a motor vehicle in violation of the law; to wit: Section 39:4-144 R.S. (failure to stop at stop street) resulting in the death of one Salvatore Villari * * *."

Defendant demanded a hearing and one was had before a hearer on June 27, 1961. The hearer reserved decision. On June 30, 1961 he reported to the Director:

"CONCLUSION.

The defendant has been specifically charged with a violation of Title 39:4-144 R.S. (failure to stop at a stop street).

The testimony and evidence presented at this hearing establish that the defendant was in violation of the Stop Sign regulation. The immediate question is to not whether the defendant did stop his vehicle or not before entering the intersection but to the portion of Statute that specifies that a motorist shall proceed from a Stop Sign only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersection street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. * * *" (sic)

The hearer recommended "that the defendant's driving privilege be revoked for a one year period."

Upon receipt of the report of the hearer, defendant filed exceptions thereto. The Director, in a written opinion, adopted the hearer's recommendation, holding:

"The defendant's testimony regarding the stopping of his vehicle before proceeding through the intersection remains uncontradicted. However, the charge against the defendant under R.S. 39:4-144 relates to all the provisions of the statute.

The stopping of the vehicle provided for in R.S. 39:4-144 is not the sole duty imposed. The statute further provides that a driver of a vehicle after bringing his vehicle to a complete stop at a 'Stop Sign'

'* * * shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to ...


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