Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced that an Ocean County man has been arrested in connection with the death of a mother and her child in a July crash in Freehold.
On Dec. 16, Thomas F. Paulson, 53, of Little Egg Harbor, was arrested on two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide, one count of third-degree hindering apprehension, two counts of fourth-degree vehicular assault and one count of one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled dangerous substance, according to a news release from the Monmouth County District Attorney’s Office.
The charges against Paulson are related to a fatal car accident that occurred on July 14.
At approximately 5:00 p.m., members of the Monmouth County Serious Collision Response Team, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Freehold Township Police Department responded to the area of Siloam Roads and Old Turkey Swamp in Freehold Township.
At that location, first responders found three vehicles involved in the collision: a Ford F350 pickup driven by Paulson; a Chrysler Pacifica minivan driven by Denise James, 42, of Ocean Township (Ocean County); and a Honda CR-V driven by a 34-year-old Jackson resident.
James was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 3-year-old child was taken by medical helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, where she later died from her injuries.
Two other children, ages 9 and 13, were also taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment and later released, according to a news release.
The investigation revealed that Paulson’s pickup truck allegedly veered off the southbound lanes of Siloam Road and struck a Honda SUV before immediately colliding with a Chrysler minivan.
The investigation determined that Paulson was allegedly driving while under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance at the time of the collision, according to the news release.
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has any information about it is asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Detective Nicholas Lagothetis at 800-533-7443 or Freehold Township Patrolman Justin Nano at 732-294-5139.
As of Dec. 16, Paulson was in the Monmouth County Jail in Freehold Township pending an initial appearance and detention hearing in Freehold Superior Court.
Second-degree felony convictions are generally punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to a news release.