MORRISTOWN, NJ – A former Roxbury resident facing a vehicular homicide charge for the death of her friend earlier this month was released from custody last Thursday and ordered to attend a substance abuse treatment program, according to officials.
The woman, Samantha Viscardi, 22, appeared before Superior Court Judge Donald Collester in Morristown for a detention hearing. The judge ordered Viscardi to attend the treatment program starting last Friday.
Viscardi, now living in Rockaway Township, crashed a car not far from her Green Pond Road home at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 2, according to court records. The accident claimed the life of her friend - a woman identified only as “K.B.” - who was in the front seat of the smashed white Volvo, police reported.
Viscardi was initially charged with one count of third-degree assault by auto. That charge was upgraded to second-degree reckless vehicular homicide after the passenger died seven days later, said the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.
When police arrived at the crash scene, Viscardi’s friend was found to have a fractured skull and possible broken neck, said a police report. She was “unresponsive” in the passenger seat, but Viscardi was “located awake and ambulatory outside of the vehicle,” said the report.
Glasses of Wine, Shots of Liquor
“The defendant was observed swaying and staggering with bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from her mouth,” it noted, adding that Viscardi failed a sobriety test.
It appears Viscardi might have been celebrating her birthday at the Rockaway River Barn in Rockaway Township and at The Exchange in Rockaway Borough on the night of the incident. Records show her birthday to be Feb. 2, 1997.
In an interview at the Rockaway Township police station, Viscardi told officers she’d been drinking and acknowledged she should not have done that, said the police report.
“She stated that she and K.B. were together beginning on the evening of Feb. 1, 2019 and into the morning of Feb. 2, 2019,” said the report. “The defendant stated that she consumed three (3) glasses of wine and three (3) ‘shots’ of liquor/hard alcohol throughout the evening … She stated that she recalled utilizing her cell phone and losing control of her vehicle and impacting the guard rail.”
A call seeking comment from the lawyer listed in court records as Viscardi’s attorney was not returned Thursday.