A woman from Edison, New Jersey is facing DUI charges after being involved in a deadly car accident in Highland Park on Friday night.
The Edison woman, 20-year-old Ashley Gergits, was operating a 2015 Honda CRV just before midnight when she reportedly lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a bridge abutment on River Road. The Honda then struck a 2012 Subaru Legacy that was stopped at a red light, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s report.
One of the passengers in the Honda, Jenna Adamousky, 21, was pronounced dead on arrival by police, while Gergits and two other passengers were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to treat injuries sustained in the accident.
This case has multiple layers. At the very least, Gergits is facing a DWI charge. If she is convicted and is a first time offender, she will have her driver’s license suspended for a minimum of three months and face a fine of up to $500 on top of extra fees and surcharges. She may also be required to install an interlock ignition device as a result of a DUI conviction. These penalties will increase in severity if Gergits had prior convictions for driving under the influence and/or if the offense took place within 1,000 feet of a school zone.
While the potential penalties for DUI in New Jersey are harsh enough, things may get particularly difficult for Gergits if she is charged with a crime related to the death of Adamousky. The accident is still under investigation, but authorities may choose to charge Gergits will vehicular homicide, in addition to the DUI she is already facing.
Death by auto, also often referred to as vehicular homicide, is a potential charge that may be levied against Gergits. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5, death by auto occurs when a person drives a car recklessly and causes the death of another person. Driving while intoxicated is a common example of this. In many of these cases, the driver acted recklessly or with ignorance that his or her actions could lead to death of another person.
In New Jersey, a death by auto charge is most often a second degree crime that carries a 5 to 10-year prison sentence and a maximum $150,000 fine. There is also the potential for a lifetime driver’s license suspension. If the death by auto charge occurred in a school zone, it may be prosecuted as a first degree charge, punishable by up to 20 years’ incarceration.
Charged with DUI in Edison, New Jersey?
If you or someone close to you has been arrested for a DUI in Edison or elsewhere in Middlesex County, NJ, the clock is ticking, and you need to seek help immediately. Even if your case does not involve an accident, you are still facing a license suspension, fines, fees and points on your license, all of which could jeopardize your livelihood and lifestyle. If your case did involve a vehicular accident, you are facing an even more serious situation and need to begin planning your defense strategy immediately.
The skilled criminal defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law have extensive experience defending clients against DUI charges throughout Middlesex County, and we are ready to make you our next success story. Contact our law offices in Edison today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation or send us an email.
For more information about this case, access the following article: Driver charged with DWI in fatal Middlesex County crash