Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes announces the entry of a guilty plea in the matter of State of New Jersey v. Jason Vanderee.
According to Prosecutor Valdes, Mr. Vanderee pled guilty today to three counts of first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter and the motor vehicle violation of Driving Under the Influence.
Prosecutor Valdes stated that Mr. Vanderee admitted under oath that on February 19, 2019, he purchased heroin in Paterson and thereafter ingested the heroin and drove a motor vehicle recklessly on Route 23 North in the Township of Wayne.
According to Prosecutor Valdes, he further indicated that as a result of the ingestion of heroin, he lost consciousness and control of the vehicle, which left the roadway and careened into the Delta Gas Station located at 1220 Route 23 North in Wayne.
His vehicle crashed into a parked car that was occupied by father and son, Jon and Luke Warbeck, who were killed as a result of the collision.
After striking the Warbecks, his vehicle struck Mr. Fatra, who was also killed as a result of the collision.
According to Prosecutor Valdes, Mr. Vanderee admitted that at the time, he was under the influence of heroin and fentanyl and that his toxicology report also showed the presence of alprazolam and cocaine.
Prosecutor Valdes said that Mr. Vanderee further admitted that given his history of heroin abuse and the choice he made to get behind the wheel while under the influence of heroin, he disregarded the substantial risk that it was probable that his actions would cause death to another, and therefore he exercised extreme indifference to the value of human life.