Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 6, 2023, Alejandro Huerta-Arias, 24, of Toms River, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on the charge of Vehicular Homicide in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Lakewood Township on March 9, 2022, resulting in the death of Mark Mandel, 32, of Lakewood.
On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at approximately 8:15 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the intersection of Madison Avenue and Courtney Road for a report of a serious motor vehicle collision resulting in a fatality. Initial investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Lakewood Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit revealed that Huerta-Arias was traveling northbound on Madison Avenue in a 2012 Infinity G35, when he struck a 2008 Chevrolet Impala – being operated by Mr. Mandel – who was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Courtney Road. The impact of the crash propelled Mr. Mandel’s vehicle into a traffic signal. Mr. Mandel was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huerta-Arias was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of a fractured leg.
Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Lakewood Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit revealed that the vehicle operated by Huerta-Arias was traveling at an average speed of 91 miles-per-hour at the time of the crash – more than double the 40 mile-per-hour speed limit posted on the roadway. As a consequence, Huerta-Arias was charged with Vehicular Homicide on June 7, 2022, and he surrendered himself at Lakewood Township Police Headquarters on the same date. Huerta-Arias 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 presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative and cooperative efforts 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.