Burlington County authorities reported that a 55-year-old Pemberton Township woman pled guilty today to driving while impaired and causing the death of a teenage motorist late last year during a head-on collision that occurred after drinking at a Browns Mills bar.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Wanda Sprague, of Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) in exchange for a term of eight years in New Jersey state prison.
According to officials, the plea was entered in Superior Court in Mount Holly before the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for November 16.
In addition to the criminal charges, Sprague agreed to plead guilty to Driving While Intoxicated, a motor vehicle summons.
The investigation began December 16, 2021, after officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department were dispatched to the area of Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane for a report of a motor vehicle accident at approximately 9:15 p.m.
The investigation determined that the headlights on Sprague’s Chrysler 300 were not illuminated when she crashed head-on into a Nissan Sentra being driven by Kayla Bowen, 17, also of Pemberton Township. Bowen was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation further determined that Sprague had been consuming alcohol before the crash at the Country Lakes Pub and Grill and reached a speed exceeding 90 mph before the collision. Her blood alcohol concentration following the crash was .188, more than twice the legal limit.
Sprague told the court she had no recollection of the collision. From a wheelchair, she said she has had several surgeries, with more scheduled, and might need to have a foot amputated.
She is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit.
The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police.
The lead investigators are BCPO Detectives Brian Cunningham and Melyssa Alonso and PTPD Detective Joshua Mann.