A Rahway NJ woman became the first person in Essex County to be charged with vehicular homicide after allegedly causing a fatal car crash while texting.
According to police, 35-year-old Jennifer Sahoye crashed her Volvo sedan into a Ford pickup truck on Routes 1 and 9, killing 58-year-old Carlos Carvalho, the truck’s driver.
Initially, Ms. Sahoye was charged with causing the death of Mr. Carvalho while driving with a suspended license. However, after witnesses informed authorities that they saw Ms. Sahoye texting when her vehicle veered from the southbound express lanes of Routes 1 and 9 and struck Mr. Carvalho’s truck, prosecutors enhanced the charges against Ms. Sahoye.
At the time of the accident, Mr. Carvalho was on his way home from work. The accident caused Mr. Carvalho to be ejected from the truck after it flipped over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses told police that they saw Ms. Sahoye’s head down as she was driving. According to the witnesses, Ms. Sahoye appeared to be texting while she drove.
After being arraigned in Essex County Superior Court in Newark NJ, Ms. Sahoye was released on $50,000.00 bond.
In New Jersey, vehicular homicide (or death by auto) is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5. As set forth by the statute, vehicular homicide is classified as a first degree felony. If Ms Sahoye is convicted of first degree vehicular homicide, she could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Rahway Woman Was Texting and Driving When She Caused Fatal Crash, Prosecutors Say.”