Oak Ridge Man Pleads Not Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

21-year-old accused of being on heroin when he crashed into two cars, killing one woman.

An Oak Ridge man accused of being on heroin when he crashed into two cars, killing one woman and injuring another earlier this month in West Milford, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in State Superior Court.

Sonny Gorzala, 21, has been charged with vehicular homicide within 1,000 feet of a school, driving under the influence, possession of heroin, assault by auto, and causing severe bodily injury, according to Passaic County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Paul DeGroot.

Rosemary Puig, 58, of Newfoundland, was killed after Gorzala collided head on with her on Macopin Road in West Milford on Nov. 9 while he was allegedly on heroin, DeGroot said.

Gorzala was traveling northbound in his 2005 Audi A4 when he crossed over into the southbound lane and crashed into Puig's 2005 Nissan Sentra, according to a report supplied by Detective/Sergeant Stephen Singerline of the West Milford Police.

Puig succumbed to her injuries as a result of the incident and passed away on Nov. 22, after being hospitalized with severe injuries since the crash, the report said. 

Gorzala is also charged with first crashing into Margaret Davis, 59, who sustained scrapes and bruises, DeGroot said.

Gorzala was represented by Attorney Roy Greenman in his first appearance in court Wednesday, DeGroot said.

DeGroot said Gorzala will next appear in front of the grand jury in the next several months.

"I expect the grand jury to hand down an indictment on that," DeGroot said.

Gorzala is currently being held at Passaic County Jail on $450,000 bail without a 10 percent option, DeGroot said.

DeGroot said bail is outside of the permissible range, and he expects it to be lowered between $250,000 and $350,000 with no 10 percent option.

DeGroot said Gorzola will remain in the Passaic County Jail until he appears in court again. If Gorzola attempts to make bail or have it lowered, DeGroot said he will oppose it.


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