Prosecutor: Area Woman Indicted on Manslaughter and Assault Charges Stemming Crash that Killed 3-Year-Old

A 31-year-old area woman has been indicted on charges in connection with a fatal January three-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 3-year-old girl and injured others, Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia Alonso announced on Friday.

Samantha E. Bonora, of Howell, has been indicted on the charges of: one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault and two counts of fourth-degree assault by auto.

The case background …

On Saturday, Jan. 13, at 4:41 p.m., Howell police were notified of a multiple-car collision on Route 34 near the Colts Neck border.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Bonora was operating a Dodge Ram pickup truck headed south on Route 34 in Howell when she travelled into the northbound lane, directly into oncoming traffic.

Bonora’s vehicle then collided head-on with an oncoming Jeep Grand Cherokee. The collision caused Bonora’s vehicle to ultimately come to a stop in the northbound lane, where it was then struck by a Ford Bronco via a rear-end collision.

One of the passengers in the Cherokee, a 3-year-old girl, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Cherokee and the other child passenger, a 2-year-old boy, sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized. Bonora, as well as the female passenger of the Jeep and the female driver of the Ford Bronco, also sustained injuries.

An investigation revealed that Bonora was under the influence of multiple narcotic substances at the time of the collision.

Bonora was arrested and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institute (MCCI) in Freehold, where she remains incarcerated.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office