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Driver Was High On Pot In Double Deadly Crash Involving NJDOT Truck

Danielle Bowker
Danielle Bowker Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office/Ocean County Jail

A 30-year-old Toms River woman was high on pot when she caused a four-car crash that left two people dead last March, authorities said.

Danielle Bowker was behind the wheel of a 2018 Honda Civic heading westbound on Route 571 when she swerved while negotiating a right-hand curve around 7:15 a.m. March 29 in Manchester, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.

The Civic then struck a New Jersey Department of Transportation Ford F-550 pickup truck driven by Eduardo Rivera, 30, of Hamilton Township, which was traveling eastbound on Route 571. Daniel Septor, 26, of the Cream Ridge section of Upper Freehold Township, was a passenger in the truck. 

As a consequence, the Ford F-550 lost directional control and struck a 2012 Toyota Camry operated by Michael Sadis, 48, pushing the Camry off the roadway into an embankment. The Ford F-550 continued in the same direction of travel, and struck a 2015 Toyota Corolla operated by Paul Lamberti, 58, of Toms River.

Sadis — an investment consultant — was pronounced deceased at the scene while Lamberti was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he died. Rivera and Septor were transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for treatment of minor injuries.

Bowker sustained minor injuries from the crash, and was also taken to Community Medical Center for treatment. While at Community Medical Center, a blood draw was taken pursuant to a court-authorized warrant. 

Laboratory results received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit revealed that Bowker had an Active THC (marijuana) level of 7 nanograms (ng) with a Metabolite THC level of 61ng – indicating that she was a recent, active user of marijuana at the time of the crash, Billhimer said.

The State’s psychopharmacologist rendered an opinion that at the time of the crash, Bowker’s faculties were impaired due to the effects of marijuana intoxication, and that she could not safely operate a motor vehicle.

Bowker surrendered to Manchester police on Tuesday, June 21, and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of strict liability vehicular homicide, two counts of assault by auto, and DWI. She was jailed pending a court hearing.

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