Man Pleads Guilty to Motor Vehicle Crash That Killed Three

JEFFERSON — Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced that Defendant Luis E. Torres, 39, of Jersey City, pled guilty today in Morris County Superior Court before the Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. to charges stemming from a drunk driving motor vehicle crash that occurred on August 24, 2013 in Jefferson Township, which left three occupants of his vehicle dead.

The Defendant pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), a crime of the first degree, Two counts of Vehicular Homicide, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a, crimes of the second degree, four counts of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(1), crimes of the fourth degree, one count of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), a crime of the third degree and Driving While Intoxicated. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the State will seek a sentence of twenty (20) years in New Jersey State Prison with an 85% period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act.

On August 24, 2013, defendant and his family were traveling on Route 15 South in Jefferson Township. The defendant was operating a 2002 Ford Explorer when it flipped over. There were nine occupants inside the vehicle including the defendant. Three of the occupants were children under the age of 18. Several passengers were ejected from the vehicle resulting in the deaths of three passengers. The defendant and five remaining passengers suffered injuries. The decedents are Lucila Colon, 62; Julissa Colon, 36; and Tevia Booth, 11.

Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for May 29 before the Honorable James DeMarzo, J.S.C.