MAYS LANDING- A Pleasantville woman who was determined to be under the influence of marijuana and who was also speeding has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in connection to a motor vehicle accident that killed a Galloway Township woman in December 2018, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
“Throughout the process of the legalization of marijuana we have monitored statistics in jurisdictions that have legalized or decriminalized its use. As the use of recreational marijuana becomes more prevalent, I have concerns. I want to warn against the dangers of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, any illegal substance or alcohol. Just as we strongly warn people not to drink and drive or drive under the influence of illegal substances I am warning the public do not get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of marijuana,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
On May 14, 2021, Kaitlyn Hayes, 26, pleaded guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Sarah Beth Johnson.
The motor vehicle crash involving 2 cars occurred on December 19, 2018 at approximately 11:38 P.M.on Pitney Road in the area of Connecticut Avenue in Absecon. The impact occurred in a designated school zone within 1000 feet of the H. Ashton Marsh Elementary School.A vehicle, operated by Kaitlyn Hayes, 24, of Pleasantville was traveling southbound on Pitney Road when it crossed over into the northbound lane and struck another vehicle head-on, that was operated by Suzana Kocick, 36, of Galloway. Kocick was pronounced deceased at the scene. Hayes was transported to an area hospital for treatment. An investigation determined that Hayes’ 2017 Ford Expedition vehicle was traveling at a speed of 106 mph in the 2 seconds prior to the crash, and 104 mph at impact. Toxicology tests revealed Hayes’ blood was positive for marijuana. This crash is a cooperative investigation by the Absecon Police Department and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Crash Investigations Unit. Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Robinson represents the state in this matter. Sentencing is scheduled for July 2, 2021, before Judge Johnson.
Anyone with information about serious crimes are asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at https://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.