An Ocean County woman pled guilty to second degree vehicular homicide and other charges for her role in an accident in Howell in January of 2012.
Bilgye Santamaria, 35, of Bayville also pled guilty to third degree endangering the welfare of a child and reckless driving for her role in the crash that killed Eileen Figueroa, 26, of Freehold Township.
Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced the plea deal on Tuesday. The plea deal comes following the crash at the intersection of Route 9 and Strickland Road where it was determined Santamaria was driving at “an extremely high rate of speed,” through the intersection.
Gramiccioni said an investigation by the Howell Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team showed Santamaria was driving her 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer more than 34 MPH above the speed limit when she ran a red light, hitting Figueroa’s car. Following the crash Figueroa was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead the following morning.
At the time of the crash Santamaria had three children in her car ranging from 5-years-old to 10-years-old with two suffering “non-life threatening injuries according to the prosecutor.
Santamaria is currently free on $100,000 bail ahead of sentencing which is scheduled for December 13. As part of the plea agreement the recommended sentence will be five years subject to the No Early Release Act meaning Santamaria will have to serve at least 85 percent of her sentence before being eligible for parole.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Costanzo will serve as prosecutor for the case. Santamaria is represented by Ronald Rosa of Toms River.