Ocean County Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide
Authorities say an Ocean County man "should consider himself very fortunate" for receiving a plea deal that will likely send him to jail for only three years following a fatal car crash in 2018.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer says 70-year-old William Orr of Whiting pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide as well as driving under the influence in connection to a crash that occurred in Lacey Township on September 28, 2018, which resulted in the death of a woman from Florida.
At the time of Orr’s sentencing on May 10th, Billhimer says the State will be seeking a term of three years New Jersey State Prison with a three-year-term of parole ineligibility. This plea agreement was entered into after extensive consultation with the victim's family.
On September 28, 2018, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Lacey Township Police were summoned to the area of Lacey Road for a report of a motor vehicle crash. An investigation...revealed that Orr was operating a 2018 Hyundai Elantra and traveling westbound on Lacey Road, when he crossed over the center line and struck a 2017 Nissan Sentra being driven by Ms. Patashinsky [of Palm Bay, Florida] head-on. Ms. Patashinsky was transported to Community Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased. A passenger in Ms. Patashinsky’s vehicle, William Muset, 66, of Whiting, was transported to Community Medical Center, treated for his injuries, and released.
Orr was treated at the scene for his injuries. Police say he exhibited no signs of impairment at the scene but he could not perform field sobriety tests due to a back injury. However, Orr was taken to a local hospital where he voluntarily consented to a draw of his blood.
Billhimer says toxicology results from Orr’s blood revealed the presence of four medications which had been lawfully prescribed to him: Alprazolam, Gabapentin, Oxycodone and Zolpidem. No alcohol or illegal narcotics were detected in his system, but forensic toxicologists concluded that the combined effects of those medications impaired his ability to drive.
On October 29, 2018, Orr was arrested at his home and charged in connection with the death of Patashinsky.
In a press release, Billhimer said, "But for the compassionate and forgiving nature of the victim’s family – and their unequivocal desire to achieve closure after this two-and-one-half yearlong nightmare – this plea agreement would never have even been contemplated by this Office, let alone approved. It is only by the grace of Ms. Patashinsky’s family that we agreed to a sentence that is significantly less than what would otherwise have been recommended to the Court. This defendant should consider himself very fortunate that the victim’s family – in a show of tremendous mercy – requested this case be resolved is this manner."