PRESS RELEASE-VIRGINIA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND ASSAULT BY AUTO
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 26, 2023, Michelle Roselli, 36, of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, pled guilty before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., to Vehicular Homicide, Assault by Auto, and Driving Under the Influence, all in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred at mile marker 64 southbound on the Garden State Parkway on January 26, 2020. The crash resulted in the death of Tri Nguyen, 66, of Berkeley Township, as well as serious injuries to Thuy Duong, 51, also of Berkeley Township. At the time of her sentencing on July 14, 2023, the State will be seeking a term of six years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as to the Vehicular Homicide charge – subject to subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act. Additionally, the State will seek a term of five years NJSP as to the Assault by Auto Charge. The sentences are to run concurrently.
On January 26, 2020, at approximately 5:50 p.m., the New Jersey State Police was dispatched to the area of mile marker 64 southbound on the Garden State Parkway for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash. Investigation revealed that a 2012 Honda Civic operated by Roselli failed to maintain its lane of travel and struck a 2001 Toyota Scion operated by Kathy Nguyen, 32, of Bayville. A juvenile passenger was seated in the front passenger seat of the Scion, and Mr. Nguyen and Ms. Duong were seated in the rear of the Scion. The collision caused the Scion to leave the roadway and veer off to a wooded area and strike several trees. As a result of the crash, all four passengers of the Scion were transported to Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township. Kathy Nguyen and the juvenile passenger were treated for their injuries and released. Mr. Nguyen and Ms. Duong – both of whom suffered more serious injuries – were thereafter airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona. On February 22, 2020, Mr. Nguyen succumbed to the injuries he suffered as a result of the crash. Ms. Duong remains in a Rehabilitation Facility recovering from her injuries.
Responding Troopers observed that Roselli appeared to be intoxicated at the scene of the crash. Based upon those observations, Troopers attempted to administer the standardized field sobriety tests (FSTs) to Roselli. Roselli was unable to successfully perform the FSTs; as such, she was charged with Driving Under the Influence on January 26, 2020.
In furtherance of the investigation, Roselli was transported to Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center. A search warrant was obtained for a draw of her blood; laboratory results from the blood draw, later received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, revealed the presence of 8.6 nanograms of Fentanyl in her system at the time of the crash – rendering her unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle. This fact, coupled with the death of Mr. Nguyen on February 22 2020, resulted in Roselli being charged with Vehicular Homicide and Assault by Auto on March 13, 2020. On March 20, 2020, Roselli surrendered herself to the New Jersey State Police Barracks in Galloway Township. She was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron who is handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit, New Jersey State Police Troop D Criminal Investigations Unit, New Jersey State Police Construction/ Incident Management Unit, Stafford Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their combined and collective assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Roselli’s guilty pleas, and soon her state prison sentence.