Driver was Using Cellular Phone When Fatal Crash Occurred
FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County judge sentenced a 51-year-old Keansburg woman to 5 years in prison in connection with the 2016 collision which took the life of 39-year-old Yuwen Wang on Laurel Avenue in Hazlet Township, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Alexandra Mansonet, 51, of Keansburg, was sentenced to 5 years in a New Jersey state prison by the Honorable Judge David F. Bauman on Friday, August 21, 2020. Mansonet’ s sentence is also subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA) requiring her to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. She will also be on parole for a period of three years once released. The trial jury returned a guilty verdict for second degree Vehicular Homicide following a three-week trial on November 22, 2019.
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Evidence presented at the trial revealed that Mansonet was texting while driving at the time of the fatal crash.
The charges stem from a collision which occurred at approximately 8:20 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2016 at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Sixth Street in Hazlet. The initial collision involved a 2000 Mercedes Benz, operated by Mansonet and a 2011 Toyota Corolla, operated by Robert Matich of Keansburg. Matich’s son was a passenger in the vehicle. Matich’s vehicle was proceeding south on Laurel Avenue approaching the intersection with Sixth Street when he observed pedestrians looking to cross Laurel Avenue at the marked crosswalk. In compliance with motor vehicle law that requires a driver to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, Matich slowed his vehicle a significant distance prior to the intersection to allow the pedestrians to cross. As Matich brought his vehicle to a controlled stop, Mansonet’s vehicle collided with the rear of his vehicle, which was propelled forward, striking the victim.
Wang was transported by helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center’s Trauma Unit in New Brunswick, where she died on Oct. 3, 2016.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART) and Hazlet Township Police Department determined Mansonet was using her cellular telephone while driving and made no observations of Matich’s vehicle. Accordingly, Mansonet never activated her brakes and collided with the vehicle, causing it to cast forward and strike the victim.
After Mansonet was sentenced, Raymond M. Brown, Esq., one of the attorneys handling her appeal, asked the Court to grant Mansonet’s release on bail while her appeal is pending, which was opposed by the State. Judge Bauman denied the motion. Mr. Brown then asked Judge Bauman to stay his order pending an emergent appeal of the denial of bail pending appeal. The stay was granted, allowing Mansonet to file and emergent appeal to the Appellate Division on the issue.
Accordingly, Judge Bauman released Mansonet, but ordered that she turn herself in on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by 3:00 p.m. to begin serving her sentence unless the Appellate Division reverses his ruling and grants bail pending appeal.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Mansonet was represented at trial and sentencing by Steven D. Altman, Esq. and Philip Nettl, Esq. of Benedict and Altman, New Brunswick. She is now represented by Raymond M. Brown, Esq. and Rachel E. Simon, Esq. of Scarinci Hollenbeck, Lyndhurst.