Ocean County Woman Charged In Fatal Crash, Was On Cellphone

Sorah Tyner (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  JACKSON – Two individuals, one being a minor, were killed in a two-car crash due to one driver being distracted on her phone, officials said.

  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 crash that occurred on May 30 in Jackson Township.

  According to police, 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 – colliding into a 2010 GMC Terrain driven by Carolina Bonilla-Hernandez, 36, of Jackson Township. 

  As a result, Tyner and the two minors were brought 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, officials said. The second juvenile remains hospitalized and is listed in stable condition. Tyner was treated for her injuries and released.

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

  Tyner’s car was in the oncoming lane for some distance prior to impact, detectives said. Additionally, she did not take corrective actions to avoid the crash. 

  Only one of the minors was seated in an appropriate child car seat. The second, who died in the crash, was wearing a seatbelt despite that fact the he should have been retrained in a rear/front facing child car seat due to his age and weight.

  After searching Tyner’s cell phone, authorities discovered that Tyner was using her cell phone at the time of the crash. She also made inconsistent statements at the scene of the crash.

  On June 6, 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.

  Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. 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 are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.