A Monmouth County woman is headed to prison in connection to the death of a 78-year-old motorist in 2021.

On Friday, 32-year-old Ashley Watkins of Eatontown was sentenced to five years behind bars after pleading guilty to a vehicular homicide charge and a driving while intoxicated motor vehicle offense.

Authorities say on the morning of May 9th, 2021, officers with the Brick Township Police Department responded to a crash at the intersection of Lanes Mill Road and Greenwood Loop.

Through an investigation, officers determined that while driving southbound on Lanes Mill Road, Watkins crossed the center line and collided head-on with a van being driven by 78-year-old Terry Penrod of Brick.

Penrod sustained a broken leg in the accident and was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment.

His wife, Nancy, was a passenger in that van. She was taken to Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township where she died from her injuries.

Watkins sustained minor injuries in the crash.

While being treated at Ocean Medical Center, a blood sample was taken from Watkins which later showed she had fentanyl, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and marijuana in her blood stream.

Watkins' sentence falls under the No Early Release Act, which means she must serve at least 85 percent, or just over four years, of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

In addition to the prison sentence, Watkins' drivers license was suspended for seven months.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer thanked the Brick Township Police Department and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office for their work in this case.

A walk around the closed Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City

The Atlantic Club closed in January 2014 and not much has happened there since.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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