Marijuana Intoxication: Toms River, NJ, Woman Facing Vehicular Homicide Charges
Authorities say a woman from Toms River, who was "impaired due to the effects of marijuana intoxication," is facing vehicular homicide charges in connection to a fatal crash in March.
30-year-old Danielle Bowker has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of strict liability vehicular homicide, two counts of assault by auto, and driving while intoxicated in connection to a crash where 48-year-old Michael Sadis and 58-year-old Paul Lamberti, both of Toms River, were killed.
According to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, the accident happened around 7:15 on the morning of March 29th at Whitesville Road and County Route 571 in Manchester Township.
Police say an investigation revealed that Bowker, who was headed westbound on Route 571 in a Honda Civic, failed to stay in her lane while negotiating a right-hand curve. Bowker hit a New Jersey Department of Transportation Ford F-550 pickup truck operated by 30-year-old Eduardo Rivera of Hamilton Township, which was traveling eastbound on Route 571; 26-year-old Daniel Septor of Upper Freehold Township was also in the truck. From that impact, the truck struck a Toyota Camry, being driven by Sadis, pushing it off the road and into an embankment. The truck then hit a Toyota Corolla being driven by Lamberti.
Sadis was pronounced dead at the scene; Lamberti was airlifted to a local hospital where he ultimately died from his injuries. Rivera, Septor, and Bowker were all treated for minor injuries.
Billhimer says in the opinion of a State’s psychopharmacologist, a blood sample taken from Bowker determined that she was impaired due to the effects of marijuana intoxication and she could not safely drive a vehicle.
Laboratory results of Bowker’s blood draw, received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, revealed that Bowker had an Active THC (marijuana) level of 7 nanograms (ng) with a Metabolite THC level of 61ng – indicating that Bowker was a recent, active user of marijuana at the time of the crash.
Bowker surrendered to police on Tuesday and she is being held in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.