In the wake of the heartbreaking hit-and-run incident that claimed the life of 16-year-old Christopher “CJ” Hackett, New York State lawmakers are considering legislation to address the tragic circumstances that led to his death. Assembly Bill A7093, known as “CJ’s Law”, aims to increase penalties for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of a minor. The proposed legislation seeks to deter hit-and-run incidents and bring justice to families like CJ’s who have suffered devastating losses.
CJ Hackett’s Tragic Death
On August 2nd, 2022, CJ Hackett and his best friend, AJ Solieri, were riding around Yonkers, having fun, and creating memories. However, the evening took a tragic turn when an alleged drunk-driver struck and killed CJ in a hit-and-run. The accident occurred as CJ and AJ left Coyne Park, with CJ on an e-scooter and AJ on an e-bike.
CJ sustained life-threatening injuries, including a fractured femur, fractured skull, broken shin, and possible severe brain damage. He was transported to a local medical center, but succumbed to his injuries the following day. CJ’s family made the difficult decision to donate his organs to help others in need.
Proposed Legislation: Assembly Bill A7093
Sponsored by Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, “CJ’s Law” seeks to increase penalties for individuals who leave the scene of an accident resulting in the death of a minor.
If passed, the law would elevate such offenses to class C felonies. Those found guilty could face fines ranging from $4,000 to $8,000, in addition to other penalties provided by existing law. Many view the legislation as a critical step towards deterring hit-and-run incidents. Furthermore, that is ensures individuals responsible for such tragedies face appropriate consequences.
As the legislative session progresses, supporters of “CJ’s Law” hope it serves as a lasting tribute to CJ Hackett. The Hackett family and their supporters remain committed to seeking justice and raising awareness about the consequences of hit-and-run accidents involving minors.
Stephen Dolan Faces Manslaughter Charges
February 3rd, 2023, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office indicted Stephen Dolan on a manslaughter charge in connection with CJ Hackett’s death by hit-and-run. Dolan entered a plea of not guilty. Surveillance footage from that night showed Dolan visiting multiple bars and consuming numerous drinks. The state initially requested a $500,000 bail. But, the court ultimately set it at $100,000 with the condition that Dolan wear an ankle monitor. If convicted, Dolan could serve up to seven years in prison. Though CJ’s family advocates for a more substantial punishment.
I want him in jail obviously. I want him in jail for a long time, not for two years. Killed too good of a kid to go away for two years.Christopher Hackett – CJ’s father