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Mystery Of West Milford Woman's Hit-Run Death Approaches Third Month

Kelly A. Vaughn Chalkley
Kelly A. Vaughn Chalkley Photo Credit: Family photo

WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- A holiday season passed without closure for the family of a 58-year-old West Milford woman struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as she walked her dog in early November.

"As we approach another holiday without our beloved wife, mother and Nanna we are left with questions to which we have no answers," loved ones of Kelly A. Vaughn Chalkley wrote in an open letter to the public between Christmas and New Year's. "We cannot begin to heal as a family until we have the answers we so desperately need."

A $10,000 reward posted by the family continues for information leading to an arrest, they noted.

"To the driver involved in this accident, we are pleading for you to come forward and rid yourself of the tremendous guilt we imagine you are bearing," their letter says. "We assure you the weight on your shoulders will be lifted once you free yourself from the burden you have been carrying.

"You are also jeopardizing anyone else who may know about this accident and any cover up that may be occurring."

Video surveillance cameras connected three vehicles to the fatal Nov. 7 crash in the parking lot of Mount Laurel Park in the Hewitt section at Upper Greenwood Lake just after 7:30 p.m., authorities have said.

"The incident does not appear to have been intentional," West Milford Police Chief Timothy Storbeck said just after Thanksgiving. "However, the investigation has revealed that the driver should have known that their vehicle had struck an object in the Mt. Laurel parking lot.

"It also appears likely that the responsible party has direct knowledge of the area and may in fact be a local resident."

Each of the vehicles entered the lot from Tyler Place and exited onto Warwick Turnpike between 7:14 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. that night, the chief said.

The first had been headed south on the turnpike, then turned right onto Tyler Place and left into the Mt. Laurel parking lot, he said.

It remained in the lot less than a minute and left, heading northbound on the turnpike, Storbeck said.

The second vehicle was traveling northbound and turned left onto Tyler Place, then left into the Mt. Laurel parking lot.

It remained in the lot for about five minutes before returning to the northbound turnpike, the chief said.

The third vehicle made a right onto Tyler place from the southbound turnpike and then a left into the lot.

It remained for about 90 seconds "and then exited the lot and traveled a short distance northbound before turning left onto Tyler Place a second time," the chief said.

Callers may remain anonymous if they see anything or have information that could help the investigation, Storbeck said.

You can call West Milford police at (973) 728-2800 or (973) 728-2810 or the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office at (877) 370-7276 .

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