MORRISTOWN, NJ – A former Roxbury resident who crashed a car in February after a night of drinking - killing a friend in the front seat - was sentenced today to five years in state prison, authorities said.
The woman, Samantha Viscardi, 22, now lives in Rockaway Township. She pleaded guilty last month to one count of second-degree reckless vehicular homicide and to the motor vehicle offense of driving while intoxicated.
Viscardi crashed a car not far from her Green Pond Road home at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 2, according to authorities and court records. The accident claimed the life of her friend Kimberly Boyle, 22, of Washington Township, who was in the front seat of the Volvo being driven by Viscardi.
“The passenger sustained a traumatic brain injury and died as a result of her injuries on Feb. 9,” said the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. “Further investigation revealed that Viscardi was intoxicated at the time of the crash.”
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, said authorities.
Swaying and Staggering with Bloodshot Eyes
When police arrived at the crash scene, Boyle 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.
“The defendant was observed swaying and staggering with bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from her mouth,” the report noted, adding that Viscardi failed a sobriety test.
Records show 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, her birthday being Feb. 2.
Viscardi admitted to Rockaway Township police she’d been drinking prior to the crash.
“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 police 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.”
Viscardi was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Stephen Taylor. The sentence is subject to the parole ineligibility provisions of the No Early Release Act, noted the prosecutor’s office. The act requires that offenders convicted of violent crimes serve a minimum of 85 percent of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole.
Boyle had graduated from William Paterson University in 2018 and was working as an applied behavior analysis therapist at the time of her death, according to her obituary, which described her as "a real life hero working with children with special needs."
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