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Expert Will Assess If Fort Lee Driver In Fatal DWI Crash Can Be Tried

Defense attorney Robert Biaggotti
Defense attorney Robert Biaggotti Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Tamer Ammar
Tamer Ammar Photo Credit: PHOTO: Nj.com / INSET: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan
Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A Fort Lee man who authorities said was drunk when his speeding car slammed into a building at what used to be the Ridgefield Circle, killing one of his passengers, will be evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist to determine whether he'll ever go to trial.

A defense attorney told a judge in Hackensack on Monday that he was in the process of arranging a test to determine whether 20-year-old Tamer Ammar has the "cognitive ability" to understand what is happening around him and to take care of himself.

Ammar was paralyzed and suffered bleeding on the brain in the July 24, 2014 accident that killed his friend, Miles Reme, 20, a fellow Fort Lee High School athlete.

Seriously injured was James Racanelli, who has since recovered.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney agreed that Ammar must be evaluated before the course of the case can be determined.

Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan gave defense attorney Robert Biagiotti until Jan. 11, 2016 to have the evaluation completed. Then, she said, she'll determine whether Ammar can be tried on charges of vehicular homicide while DWI and reckless endangerment.

Authorities said Ammar was speeding when he lost control of his father's 2014 Honda Civic as it headed north on Broad Avenue toward the Route 1 & 9 circle before dawn.

After barreling through bus-stop signs and into oncoming traffic over a stretch of nearly a quarter-mile, the car slammed into the side of an accounting business.

Ammar was in a coma for months before being transferred to a rehab center. He was confined to a wheelchair, undergoes extensive physical therapy and requires constant attention, Biagiotti said.

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