Family Of Female Passenger Killed By Wrong-Way DWI Route 80 Driver Demands Justice

The family of one of three people killed in a wrong-way drunk-driving crash on Route 80 last October is demanding justice.

Jalen Davis
Jalen Davis Photo Credit: Provided by JoAnn Merritt

Miguel Botero of Dumont was charged Jan. 10 with three counts of reckless vehicular homicide in connection with the Oct. 18, 2019 deaths of passengers Jalen Davis and Julia Wells, 20, as well as another driver whom authorities haven't yet identified.

Botero recorded a .20 blood-alcohol content -- 2½ times the legal limit -- following the crash in Parsippany-Troy Hills, said Morristown attorney Scott Leonard, who is representing Davis's mother.

"Prosecutors must pursue justice for Jalen and hold Botero accountable to the full extent of the law," Scott said Monday. "Jalen Davis is gone and her family will never be the same."

Botero, a 28-year-old car salesman, was headed west on the eastbound side of the highway when his Jeep Grand Cherokee slammed into a Toyota Corolla near mile post 45.2 around 1:45 a.m., the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.

Wells' and Davis' relationship with the Corolla driver was unclear, Leonard told Daily Voice.

"My daughter was full of life," said Davis' mother, JoAnn Merritt. "Jalen was a kind, compassionate young woman and an aspiring musician. Our family is devastated."

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