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Guilty Plea In 2012 Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

An Ocean County woman pled guilty Tuesday to Vehicular Homicide and other charges related to a 2012 fatal motor vehicle crash that took the life of a 26-year-old Freehold Township woman, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Bilgye Santamaria, 35 of the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, pled guilty Tuesday to second degree Vehicular Homicide, third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Reckless Driving in front of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr.

Santamaria,who is free after posting $100,000 bail, is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 13,2013, in front of Judge Vernioa.

Santamaria pled guilty to the charges related to a Jan. 13, 2012, fatal motor vehicle accident in Howell Township that resulted in the death of Eileen Figueroa, 26, of Freehold Township.

A joint investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor, Howell Township Police Department, and Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART) revealed Santamaria was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer south on Route 9 at an extremely high rate of speed, over thirty-four miles per hour in excess of the posted speed limit, when she failed to stop for the traffic control device at the intersection of Route 9 and Strickland Road, before colliding with Figueroa’s vehicle around 10:43 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2012.

Figueroa was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune,where she was pronounced dead the following morning.

Santamaria had three children (ages 10, 9 and 5) inside her vehicle at the time of the collision. Two of the children sustained non-life threatening injuries. The 5-year-oldis Santamaria’s child.

As part of a plea agreement with this Office, and with the approval of the victim’s family,it will be recommended Santamaria serve five years in a New Jersey state prison subject to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA). NERA requires a defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

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