Drugged driver killed 78-year-old Brick, NJ woman on Mother’s Day, authorities say
BRICK — The Eatontown woman involved in a crash that resulted in the death of a 78-year-old Brick resident on May 9 was driving while under the influence of fentanyl, marijuana and Benadryl, authorities announced Monday.
According to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, 30-year-old Ashley Watkins was arrested at her home without incident on June 4. She's been charged with vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated, among other offenses.
Through investigation of the Mother's Day crash, officers determined that just before 9:45 a.m., the 2011 Toyota Camry operated by Watkins crossed the center line of Lanes Mills Road and collided head-on with a 2014 Dodge Caravan operated by 78-year-old Brick resident Terry Penrod, who suffered a broken leg.
His wife Nancy, 78, a passenger in the vehicle, was transferred to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.
Watkins sustained minor injuries and consented to a draw of her blood while at the hospital. Toxicology results returned on June 2 revealed the prevalence of fentanyl (a synthetic opioid), diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and marijuana. Officials say the results rendered her "unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle at the time of the crash."
Watkins was processed at Brick Township Police Headquarters and transported to the Ocean County Jail to await a detention hearing.