SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor announced that on Friday, November 8, 2019, Sahil Kulgod, 25, was sentenced by the Honorable Robert A. Ballard, Jr., J.S.C., in Somerset County, to serve five years in the New Jersey State Prison following his conviction on a charge of second degree vehicular homicide.
According to the No Early Release Act, officials say Kulgod will have to serve 85% of that sentence, or four years and two months, before becoming eligible for release on parole.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 10:22 a.m. on Sunday, January 4, 2015, Hillsborough Police responded to a two-vehicle collision reported along Millstone River Road in Hillsborough Township, Somerset County.
Police arrived at the scene and found a 2015 Ford Focus at the final rest, facing west across the north and southbound lanes. Police found a 1991 BMW 525i off the east side of the road against a tree.
The driver of the 1991 BMW, Nancy Louie, then age 50 of Hillsborough Township, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mrs. Louie was wearing a seatbelt restraint at the time of the collision. A passenger in the 1991 BMW sustained minor injuries. Kulgod was the lone driver of the 2015 Ford Focus.
Prosecutor Robertson said that an investigation conducted by the Hillsborough Township Police Department and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team determined that the 2015 Ford Focus was traveling southbound on Millstone River Road at an excessive speed, failed to maintain its lane of travel, crossed the double-yellow lines and crashed into Mrs. Louie’s BMW as she was traveling northbound.
Prosecutor Robertson said there was no evidence that alcohol or drug use, or distracted driving, was a factor in the collision.
According to officials, the state’s accident reconstruction expert, Lt. William Pauli (Ret.), testified that Kulgod was traveling nearly twice the posted speed limit of 45 m.p.h., and almost three times the posted advisory speed limit of 35 m.p.h., as he attempted to traverse a dangerous S-curve in the roadway.
The approaching S-curve was well-marked with curve warning signs, chevrons, and speed advisory signs, all of which Kulgod disregarded.
The Event Data Recorder in Kulgod’s vehicle confirmed a speed of 86.4 M.P.H. five seconds before impact. The jury concluded that Kulgod knowingly drove recklessly and caused the death of Mrs. Louie. Judge Ballard separately convicted Kulgod of reckless driving and failure to maintain his lane of travel.