By: Yuritza Arroyo
Authorities in Ocean County announced that on August 8, John Zinkoski, 41, of Beachwood, was charged with Vehicular Homicide and Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Plumsted Township on May 12, resulting in the death of Judi Smith, 59, of Browns Mills.
According to Plumsted Township Police, on May 12, at approximately 5:50 p.m., officers responded to the area of Pinehurst Road and Long Swamp Road for a report of a severe motor vehicle crash.
An investigation by the Plumsted Township Police Department determined that a Volvo XC6, operated by Ms. Smith, attempted to make a right-hand turn onto Pinehurst Road when it was struck by a Nissan Frontier operated by Zinkoski, who was traveling southbound on Pinehurst Road.
According to Police, as a result of the crash, Ms. Smith suffered significant injuries and was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where she ultimately succumbed to those injuries.
Police say Zinkoski was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he was treated for his injuries and released.
Laboratory results of an initial blood draw taken from Zinkoski at the hospital revealed that his Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at the time of the crash was in excess of the legal limit.
In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for alcohol consumption where the operator’s BAC is .08 or greater.
According to the authorities, the laboratory results revealed the presence of cocaine and benzodiazepine in Zinkoski’s blood at the time of the crash as well.
Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Plumsted Township Police Department determined that the vehicle operated by Zinkoski was traveling at an average speed of 86 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
Officials say on August 8; a warrant was issued for Zinkoski’s arrest. Zinkoski has not yet been taken into custody and is considered a fugitive from justice.
As such, his name has been entered in the National Crime Information Center database.