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Valley Road
A memorial to Maria Delores Ascenso was set up on Wendover Road on Jan. 20. Ascenso, 74, was struck and killed by a vehicle on Valley Road on Jan. 15. ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

A New York woman who was visiting family in Montclair was struck and killed by a car on Valley Road on Friday.

Maria Delores Ascenso, 74, was walking her dog near the intersection of Wendover Road when she was hit by a car on the afternoon of Jan. 15, police said.

Ascenso was visiting her family, whose home is on Wendover Road near Valley Road. 

Katherine Carter, a spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said no charges had been filed against the driver as of Wednesday, Jan. 20. 

Second Ward Councilwoman Robin Schlager mentioned Ascenso’s death during the Jan. 19 township council meeting. 

“As many of you might have heard of the tragic car accident that occurred this past Friday afternoon on the corner of Wendover Road and Valley Road, where a woman was tragically killed. Her name is Mrs. Marie Dolores Ascenso,” Schlager said. “It was really tragic, and my heart goes out to the Hoerner family as they grieve during this terrible time.” 

Wendover Road is located close to where Valley Road curves to the right as it continues north. 

The Montclair Police Department, the Montclair Fire Department and the Montclair Ambulance Unit all responded, as did the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Montclair Police Sgt. Terence Turner said Jan. 20 that the prosecutor’s office is investigating the incident. No additional information about the accident was made available. 

A small memorial to Ascenso was set up on Wendover Road as of Jan. 20, with flowers and photos arranged around a tree.

It is the third pedestrian fatality in Montclair in four years. 

In 2017, Montclair State University administrator Mary DeFilippis was hit by a vehicle and killed near the intersection of Grove Street and Chester Road. In 2018, Maya Maor, a 27-year-old au pair from Israel, was struck and killed by a DeCamp bus just after she had exited the bus at the intersection of Grove Street and Mt. Hebron Road.