Toms River, NJ, Woman Charged With Vehicular Homicide, DWI in Fatal Crash
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says a woman from Toms River is facing a list of charges in connection to a fatal accident last week.
31-year-old Ashley Beams has been charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, strict liability vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, careless driving, and failure to wear a seatbelt.
Authorities say on the night of February 8th, officers from the Toms River Township Police Department responded to the area of Bay Avenue and Twin Oaks Drive for a report of a crash. There, cops determined that 62-year-old James Cruz of Old Bridge Township had been struck by a vehicle being driven by Beams.
An investigation...revealed that Beams had been traveling eastbound on Bay Avenue approaching the cross street of Twin Oaks Drive. Shortly after passing Twin Oaks Drive, Beams failed to maintain her lane of travel and entered the shoulder - striking Mr. Cruz, who at the time was retrieving a package from the trunk of his vehicle. As a result of the collision, Mr. Cruz was pinned between the two vehicles and carried a significant distance eastbound on Bay Avenue.
Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Billhimer's office says Beams, "had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .32 %" at the time of the crash, or four times the legal limit of .08 in New Jersey.
Beams was arrested on Wednesday and is currently 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.