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UPDATE: NJ Man Sentenced in Multi-Vehicle Crash on Route 18 That Left One Dead

Middlesex County

By: Najla Alexander 

Authorities in Middlesex County announced that an Old Bridge man has been sentenced in connection with the fatal crash that occurred on July 16, 2023, on Route 18 and Ferris Road. AdMiddlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said that on July 16, 2023, at approximately 11:17 p.m., authorities responded to Route 18 and Ferris Road following the report of a crash.

Upon their arrival, officials say, authorities located a serious motor vehicle crash involving three vehicles.

According to officials, Florence Akoma, 45, of Sayreville, a passenger in a Honda Accord involved in the crash, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the same Honda Accord sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and required hospitalization, officials stated. 

Authorities say a driver in another vehicle sustained minor injuries.

After an initial investigation led by Detective Dan Haviland of the Old Bridge Township Police Department and Detective James Alleva of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, it was determined that a Nissan Rogue operated by James Cannici, 21, of Old Bridge, turned left from Ferris Road onto the wrong side of Route 18 and struck the Honda Accord and another vehicle, officials said. 

Officials say Cannici was arrested at the scene for Driving While Intoxicated and subsequently charged with first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter, second-degree Vehicular Homicide, third-degree Aggravated Assault, and fourth-degree Assault by Auto.


Pursuant to a plea agreement, Cannici pled guilty on February 2, 2024, to second-degree Vehicular Homicide, third-degree Assault by Auto, fourth-degree Assault by Auto, and Driving While Intoxicated, officials said. AdAccording to officials, Cannici was subsequently sentenced on June 14, 2024, by the Honorable Craig Corson, J.S.C., to 5 years in the custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which means he will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Cannici will be on parole supervision for three years upon his release from prison and will have his New Jersey driving privileges suspended for five years upon his release, authorities say.