Authorities in Ocean County say a woman from Eatontown, who was found to have fentanyl, diphenhydramine, and marijuana in her blood stream, has been charged in connection to a crash that happened in Ocean County last month that killed a Brick woman.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 30-year-old Ashley Watkins was charged on Friday with Vehicular Homicide, Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide, and Assault by Auto. She was also issued motor vehicle summonses for Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Maintain Lane.

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Billhimer's office says,

On May 9, 2021, at approximately 9:45 a.m., Officers of the Brick Township Police Department responded to the intersection of Lanes Mill Road and Greenwood Loop for a serious motor vehicle crash with injuries. Through investigation, Officers determined that a 2011 Toyota Camry operated by Watkins was traveling southwest on Lanes Mill Road when she crossed the center line of the roadway and collided head-on with a 2014 Dodge Caravan, operated by Terry Penrod, 78, of Brick. Mr. Penrod’s wife, Nancy Penrod, was a passenger in the vehicle. Mr. Penrod sustained a broken leg and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment. Ms. Penrod was transported to Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Billhimer says Watkins sustained minor injuries in the crash. On June 2, 2021, toxicology results of Watkins blood revealed the presence of fentanyl, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and marijuana in her blood stream, which, "rendered her unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle at the time of the crash on May 9th."

On Friday, Watkins was arrested without incident. She was processed at Brick Township Police Headquarters and then taken to Ocean County Jail where she is being held pending a detention hearing.

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