Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced on March 24, 2023, Charles Sharkey, Jr., 33, of Jackson Township, was charged with four counts of Aggravated Assault, four counts of Assault by Auto, Unlawful Taking of a Means of Conveyance, Causing Death or Injury While Driving with a Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License, and multiple motor vehicle summons, in connection with a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred on March 23, 2023, in Toms River.
On Thursday, March 23, 2023, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Officers from the Toms River Police Department responded to the area of Route 70 and Massachusetts Avenue for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash. Initial investigation by responding officers revealed that a 2022 Dodge Ram 1500, operated by Sharkey, was traveling eastbound on Route 70 approaching the cross street of Massachusetts Avenue. Sharkey failed to stop at the red light at the intersection, and grazed the rear of a 2016 Honda CRV which had been travelling westbound on Route 70 and turning left onto Massachusetts Avenue. Sharkey then struck a 2017 Subaru Impreza – also attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Massachusetts Avenue from Route 70 westbound – which contained a male adult driver and three juvenile passengers. As a result, the Impreza was pushed backward and rotated in a clockwise manner. The Dodge Ram operated by Sharkey overturned and came to final rest on the driver-side; the vehicle caught fire and sustained heavy fire damage. In the process of the vehicle overturning, a 2021 Lexus RX 350 was grazed and sustained minor damage.
As a consequence of the crash, the adult driver of the Impreza and two of the juvenile passengers were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC) in Neptune Township for treatment of minor injuries; they were subsequently released. The third juvenile passenger of the Impreza was also taken to JSUMC with serious injuries, and is presently listed in critical condition.
Further investigation revealed that Sharkey had been driving erratically and was utilizing a cellular device just prior to the crash. Additionally, it was learned that Sharkey had a suspended driver’s license at the time of the crash, as well as two active warrants for his arrest. It was also determined that the Dodge Ram was a rental vehicle – taken by Sharkey without the renter’s consent. Sharkey was placed under arrest at the scene. He was transported to Monmouth Medical Center-Southern Campus in Lakewood for treatment of his injuries. While at the hospital, Detectives obtained a warrant for a draw of Sharkey’s blood; the laboratory results relative to the blood draw remain pending. Sharkey was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing. Further charges may be forthcoming.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Squad, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined and collective effort in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.