Elwell sentenced to five years in prison for vechicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident

Elwell convicted of Sept 2017 accident that seriously injured other driver

Jonathan Elwell, 36, was sentenced to five years in prison today after last year’s DWI and vehicular assault conviction. Elwell was found guilty after he left the scene of his Mercedes car wreck that left another driver in a Cadillac seriously injured, according to Rockland DA Thomas Zugibe.

In September 2017, Elwell was found guilty by a jury of felony assault, two counts of felony vehicular assault, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident. Elwell was also convicted of misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated.

The accident occurred when on Oct. 14, 2015, shortly before 1 a.m. Elwell was driving a 2011 Mercedes-Benz westbound, he collided head-on with the victim’s 2001 Cadillac. The accident occurred on Route 202 in Montebello.

At the time of the accident an eyewitness saw Elwell trying to re-start his vehicle’s engine. When the car would not start, the witness said he ran down Route 202 and stumbled into a wooded area, according to press release from Rockland DA Thimas Zugibe’s office.

Elwell contacted Ramapo Police approximately three hours after he ran away from the serious car accident scene.  Elwell then claimed was involved in a traffic accident and had blacked out. Elwell claimed he only remembered the accident, and said he was alone in the car, according to Rockland DA.

Ramapo police found an intoxicated Elwell at the intersection of Route 202 and Bayard Lane. The location is a half-mile from the initial accident site.

DA’s office said Elwell’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .11 percent when taken over five hours after the injurious accident which altered both men’s life forever, namely the injured party.

A law enforcement investigation into the crash revealed that Elwell did not brake or attempt to avoid a collision with the victim’s Cadillac. The male victim driving the 2001 Cadillac attempted unsuccessfully to avoid the collision.

Good Samaritan Hospital and Westchester Medical Center treated the victim. He underwent multiple surgeries on his left leg, right hip and right foot according to the Rockland DA news release. As a result of the nearly fatal accident, the victim can not walk without the aid of a walking cane.

“The Rockland County District Attorney’s Office has zero tolerance when it comes to individuals getting behind the wheel while their ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs,” said Zugibe stated. “In this case, the defendant has been held accountable for his crimes and faces jail time and additional sanctions as punishment.”

Senior ADA Michael Dugandzic and ADA Marissa Licata prosecuted the case.


While awaiting trial Elwell was busted with Heroin in Rochelle Park, NJ. His dealers were quickly arrested. Courtesy of Rochelle Park Police


Elwell found trouble in New Jersey in April 2016, after the horrific Oct 2015 crash. Elwell was awaiting his Sept 2017 trial in Rockland.

NJ Cops say when they stopped Elwell for making an illegal turn they found a dozen small bags, two containing cocaine and ten containing heroin. There were several uncapped syringes in the car. Elwell was driving an Acura at the time.

NJ cops were quickly able to locate the two accused drug dealers in a white van with a smashed back window circling the Garden State Plaza. Cops searched the van were they found 2 bags of pot, 75 bags of heroin and $1205 of suspected drug money.

A tablet and a laptop belonging the the New York City Department of Education were also found in the white van.

The driver Omry Lopez Mejia, 23, had a large kitchen knife hidden in his pant leg, according to police. Passenger Jose Lopez, 23, was arrested with Mejia. Both men were from New York City.

Bail was set at $185,000 for Mejia and Lopez’s bail was set at $175,000 by the Judge. Both men were set to Bergen County Jail. The duo both were charged with drug and stolen property possession. Mejia received an extra charge of illegal weapons possession for the knife in his pants.

Elwell was released with a desk appearance ticket for the possession of cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia.



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