Car Rental Company May Sue City over Fatal Police Accident

A high-performance car rental company has notified North Brunswick, NJ of its intent to sue over the August crash involving a Dodge Viper driven by a township police lieutenant that claimed the life of the police department’s top traffic safety officer, according to

Exotic Car Rentals of New Jersey claims in the notice of tort claim that it is owed $65,000 for the replacement of the totaled car and $16,408 for the loss of its use. That loss of use continues to accrue daily, the notice reads. The Viper rented for $369 a day during the week and $449 a day on weekends.

The car, driven by Lt. Keith Buckley, was rented by Buckley’s brother.

Keith Buckley, who has been charged with vehicular homicide, was driving the black 2006 Dodge Viper south on Route 130 Aug. 12 when the car veered off the road. It struck a utility pole about 300 feet south of the Route 1 overpass just after 11 a.m. that Tuesday, killing Buckley’s only passenger, North Brunswick police Lt. Christopher Zerby.

Zerby, died from head and chest injuries. Buckley escaped serious injury.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said Buckley was going at least 94 mph in a 45-mph zone when he crashed the Viper. Buckley and Zerby were on duty at the time of the crash.

Buckley, 40, pleaded not guilty in the case in Superior Court, New Brunswick, on Sept. 5. If convicted, the 14-year department veteran faces up to 10 years in prison.

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