A woman is dead and a 19-year-old man has been tentatively charged with driving while intoxicated and for speeding. The 19-year-old woman was a passenger in the car at the time the crash claimed her life. The driver was not seriously injured in the fatal accident that happened in June on Sandshore Road in Mount Olive.

Two other passengers in the teen’s car were seriously injured and were treated at an area hospital. One of 19-year-old passengers sustained a brain injury and is receiving rehabilitation therapy. The other, a 20-year-old Army private, had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

In addition to underage DWI and speeding, the teen driver has also been tentatively charged by Mount Olive police with reckless driving, careless driving and improper passing in connection with the crash.

A prosecutor for Morris County is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the crash that resulted in the fatality and injuries. The charges are on hold pending the outcome of the investigation. Depending on the results, additional charges could be filed against the teen driver.

The teen’s blood alcohol level was not available. Being charged with DWI does not necessarily mean the driver was beyond the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent which is the point where a person can be considered legally drunk. In the state of New Jersey, a person under the age of 21 may not drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car.

A lawsuit filed by the family of the brain-injured teen alleges that the teen was hurt in the crash after the driver lost control of his vehicle during a race against another car and hit a tree. The man driving the other car involved in the race was also named in the suit.

Source: Asbury Park Press “Man faces DWI charge in crash,” Peggy Wright, Sept. 9, 2011