A Berkeley Township woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide and other charges related to a 2012 fatal motor vehicle crash that killed 26-year-old Freehold Township woman, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Tuesday.
Bilgye Santamaria, 35 of the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second degree vehicular homicide, third degree endangering the welfare of a child and reckless driving in front of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia.
Santamaria, who is free after posting $100,000 bail, is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 13 in front of Vernioa.
Santamaria pleaded guilty to the charges related to a Jan. 13, 2012, fatal motor vehicle accident in Howell Township that resulted in the death of Eileen Figueroa, 26, of Freehold Township.
An investigation revealed Santamaria was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer south on Route 9 at an extremely high rate of speed, more than 34 miles per hour in excess of the posted speed limit, when she failed to stop for the traffic control device at the intersection of Route 9 and Strickland Road. She then collided with Figueroa’s vehicle around 10:43 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2012.
Figueroa was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune,where she was pronounced dead the following morning.
Santamaria had three children, ages 10, 9 and 5, inside her vehicle at the time of the collision. Two of the children sustained non-life threatening injuries. The 5-year-old is Santamaria’s child.
As part of a plea agreement, and with the approval of the victim’s family, it will be recommended Santamaria serve five years in a New Jersey state prison subject to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA). NERA requires a defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Costanzo. Santamaria is represented by Ronald Rosa, Esq. of Toms River.