Driver was Using Cellular Phone When Fatal Crash Occurred
FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County jury returned a guilty verdict today against a 50-year-old Keansburg woman 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, 50, of Keansburg, is facing five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison after the trial jury returned a guilty verdict for second degree Vehicular Homicide following a three-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman. Her 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.
Evidence presented at the trial revealed that Mansonet was texting while driving at the time of the fatal crash.
“This is a tragedy in every respect. Texting while driving puts drivers and pedestrians in grave danger and we are hopeful that the jury’s verdict will reinforce the public’s awareness of this risk. Even taking your eyes off the road for mere seconds is not worth the risk of the serious bodily injury or death that can result from texting while driving,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.
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.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Mansonet is represented by Steven D. Altman, Esq., of New Brunswick.