Driver in M'town Fatal Cooper Road Accident Faces Criminal Charges
Charges are subject to No Early Release Act
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office released the following statement in connection with the fatal Feb. 27 accident on Cooper Road, Middletown:
The driver of the car involved in the fatal accident on Cooper Road, Middletown, has been arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and several other charges for which he could face decades in prison.
On May 9, Adam Sofio, 18 of Red Bank, New Jersey was arrested and charged with Vehicular Homicide within a 1000 feet of a school zone and Assault by Auto within a 1000 feet of a school zone, in connection with a motor vehicle collision that occurred on February 27, 2011 in Middletown, New Jersey. Sofio voluntarily surrendered before the Honorable Thomas F. Scully, P.J.Cr. Judge Scully set bail at $200,000.
The arrest of Adam Sofio was the result of a two-month investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and the Middletown Township Police Department. The investigation revealed that on Sunday, Feb. 27, at approximately 2:05 a.m., Sofio was driving his 1992 Honda Accord west on Cooper Road in Middletown when he lost directional control of his vehicle, skidded off the left side of the roadway and struck a tree on the passenger side of his vehicle.
As a result of striking the tree, Sofio’s Accord split into two pieces. Sofio’s front seat passenger, Paul Bradley, 18, of Middletown, New Jersey sustained massive injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Sofio’s rear seat passenger, John Vogel, 18, of Middletown, New Jersey suffered serious injuries and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment. Vogel was later released.
The investigation further revealed that Sofio was driving substantially in excess of the posted 25 mph speed limit on Cooper Road. In addition, a blood sample taken from Sofio revealed that his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was substantially above the legal .08 BAC limit for driving a vehicle.
Sofio was under the 21 years of age at the time of the incident. Consequently, any level of impairment above .01 BAC exceeds the legal limit to drive a vehicle in the state of New Jersey.
Sofio was previously charged with motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, underage driving while intoxicated, speeding, failure to maintain lane. He is also charged with violating the conditions of his provisional license for carrying an excessive number of passengers in his vehicle at the time of the collision and driving after the legal curfew of 11 p.m.
The vehicular homicide within a 1000 feet of a school zone charge, a first degree crime, carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) wherein he will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
The assault by auto within a 1000 feet of a school zone charge, a second degree crime, carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, subject to NERA.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has of the trial rights guaranteed by the United State Constitution and state law.
This case is assigned to First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
Defense counsel: Mitchell Ansell, Esq. Ocean Township