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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 5, 2024, Sorah Tyner, 37, of Toms River, was charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide, Manslaughter, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Assault by Auto, Hindering, and Obstruction, all in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred on May 30, 2024, in Jackson Township.


On May 30, 2024, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Officers from the Jackson Township Police Department responded to the area of Cleveland Court and East Veterans Highway for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash.  An initial investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad and Jackson Township Police Department revealed that a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica being operated by Tyner and containing two minor passengers was traveling westbound on East Veterans Highway.  While trying to negotiate a left-hand curve, Tyner crossed into the eastbound lane – striking a 2010 GMC Terrain operated by Carolina Bonilla-Hernandez, 36, of Jackson Township.  As a result of the crash, Tyner and the two minors in her vehicle were transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of their injuries.  Upon arrival at the hospital, one of the juveniles was pronounced deceased. The second juvenile remains hospitalized and is listed in stable condition.  Tyner was treated for her injuries and released.


Ms. Bonilla-Hernandez was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where she succumbed to her injuries.


Detectives determined that Tyner’s vehicle was in the oncoming lane for some distance prior to impact, and that she did not take corrective actions to avoid the crash.  The investigation also revealed that only one of the minors was seated in an appropriate child car seat.  The second minor, who died as a result of the crash, was restrained only by a seatbelt – notwithstanding the fact that due to his age and weight, he should have been retrained in a rear/front facing child car seat.


Detectives executed a court-authorized search warrant for Tyner’s cell phone.  A forensic extraction of the device by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit revealed that Tyner was using her cell phone at the time of the crash. Detectives determined that Tyner made inconsistent statements at the scene of the crash.


On June 6, 2024, Tyner was taken into custody at her residence without incident.  She was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where she is presently lodged pending a detention hearing.


Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Police Department Patrol Division, 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.


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.

R.P.C.  3.6(b)(6).