A 20-year-old driver from Union City had been smoking pot when he crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike in South Jersey, killing his 21-year-old passenger last fall after a trip to Pennsylvania for cheesesteaks, authorities said.
Johnalex Grullon and two friends were returning from a trip to South Philadelphia to buy cheesesteaks when he crashed his Honda Accord on Oct. 19, 2019, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said.
Grullon's sedan veered off the roadway in Mansfield, struck a guardrail along the shoulder and spun across all lanes before hitting the concrete median barrier and re-entering traffic, colliding with another car, Coffina said.
None of the occupants in the car were wearing seatbelts, and were ejected, authorities said.
Mohamedam Elbezaz, 21, the rear-seat passenger, was pronounced dead at the crash scene, Coffina said. The other passenger had non-life-threatening injuries.
The results of toxicology tests conducted on blood drawn from Grullon after the crash indicated he had marijuana is his system at a level unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle, Coffina said.
Grullon was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, assault by auto and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. A Superior Court appearance in Mount Holly was set for Thursday, to be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Grullon will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit.
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