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Negligent Homicide Charge Added after Death of Accident Victim

Charges in the Nov. 24 traffic accident that sent three men to the hospital have been upgraded to include negligent homicide after the death of one of the three victims, the V.I. Police Department said Thursday.

Markim Tonge, 27, was a passenger in one of the two cars involved in the early morning accident. He died Nov. 27.

According to information provided by St. Thomas/St. John Police Chief Darrin Foy, early on Nov. 24, Tonge was the passenger a gray Mitsubishi Endeavor mid-sized SUV driven by Kyle Stewart. At about 40 minutes after midnight the vehicle was traveling west on Veterans Drive near the Seaborne Terminal.

At the same time, a white Toyota Corolla driven by Florencio Hernandez was eastbound on Veterans and, according to police, made a right turn across traffic, colliding with the Mitsubishi. The Mitsubishi was pushed into a utility pole and overturned several times before coming to rest, Foy said.

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According to the chief, Hernandez, 60, the driver of the Toyota, broke his right ankle and injured his hip.

Stewart received minor bruises.

Tonge was trapped in the vehicle and emergency responders used the Jaws of Life to extricate him. He was transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition with a severe brain injury and broken legs, and where he succumbed to his injuries three days later.

The VIPD confirmed Thursday that charges against Hernandez have been increased to include negligent homicide in the death of Tonge.

A viewing will be held for Tonge at Turnbull Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. A second viewing will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, to be followed by a funeral service at Kingdom Life Church on St. Thomas. Burial will follow at Eastern Cemetery.

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