A Jersey City NJ man has accepted responsibility for a fatal DWI accident in Jefferson, New Jersey.
The accident occurred on the same day that the 39-year-old suspect attended a family gathering at Tomahawk Lake in Sparta, NJ. The suspect allegedly consumed a large amount of alcohol at the get-together.
While returning from the gathering in a 2002 Ford Explorer, the suspect lost control of his vehicle. According to the arrest affidavit, the suspect was speeding on Route 15 South in Jefferson NJ when the car spun out of control and crashed onto private property located near the highway.
The accident caused a number of passengers to be ejected from the vehicle. Three of the passengers died as a result of the accident, including the suspect’s mother-in-law, his stepdaughter, and a pregnant woman. Meanwhile, five other passengers sustained injuries in the crash. The suspect was also injured.
Police later administered a blood alcohol test and reportedly found that the suspect’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between .15 and .24 percent.
Now the suspect is scheduled for sentencing after he reached a plea agreement with Morris County prosecutors. The suspect recently appeared in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ and pleaded guilty to several charges, including aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, assault by auto, and driving while intoxicated (DWI).
The suspect will have to return to Morris County Superior Court for sentencing on May 29. Based on the most serious charges of aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide, he could be sentenced to as many as 61 years in NJ State Prison and fined up to $550,000.
However, as part of the plea deal, prosecutors in the case intend to recommend that the suspect be sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Additionally, the suspect will be subject to the No Early Release Act, meaning that he will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible to apply for parole.
The suspect is currently free on bail while awaiting sentencing. As long as he is out on bail, he will be barred from operating a motor vehicle.
For more information about this case, go to the DailyRecord.com article entitled “Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Jefferson DWI Crash Killing 3 Family Members.”