⭕ NJ woman gets prison for fatal crash

⭕ Victim was hit while standing near a parked car

⭕ Driver admitted being drunk during crash

A 32-year-old Toms River woman has been sentenced to prison for hitting and killing a man who was standing near a parked car, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced on Monday.

Ashley Beams, had previously pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of 62-year-old James “Jimmy” Cruz of Parlin last year.

James Cruz Parlin man killed in Toms River 2022 crash(via Mack Memorial Home)
James Cruz (via Mack Memorial Home)

On Friday, Beams also pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol and would have her driving privileges suspended for one year upon release from prison.

She was given a five year term — of which she would have to serve just over four years before becoming eligible for parole, under the No Early Release Act.

Twins Oaks Drive at Bay Avenue, Toms River (Google Maps)
Twins Oaks Drive at Bay Avenue, Toms River (Google Maps)

On Feb. 8, 2022, around 10:30 p.m., Toms River police responded to calls reporting a crash.

Cruz had been getting something from the trunk of his parked vehicle in the area of Bay Avenue and Twin Oaks Avenue, when he was struck by Beams’ car as she swerved into the shoulder, investigators said.

The victim was pinned between both vehicles — he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Beams was taken for treatment of injuries from the crash.

Blood samples taken at a local hospital revealed that her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was “substantially higher” than .08.

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