Pemberton Township Woman Charged with Reckless Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide; Drove DWI at 90+MPH, No Lights and Killed 17-Year-Old in Head-On Crash

January 20, 2022

PEMBERTON, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Pemberton Township Police Chief Jason Watters announced that a 54-year-old Pemberton Township woman has been charged with driving while impaired and causing the death of a teenage motorist late last year during a head-on collision that occurred after she left a Browns Mills bar.

Wanda Sprague, of the 200 block of Pemberton Browns Mills Road, was charged with Reckless Manslaughter (First Degree) and Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree). During a first appearance in Superior Court this afternoon, the Hon. Terrence R. Cook, P.J.Cr., ordered her not to have any contact with the victim’s family. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began December 16 after officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department were dispatched to the area of Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane for a report of a motor vehicle accident at approximately 9:15 p.m.

The investigation determined that the headlights on Sprague’s Chrysler 300 were not turned on when she crashed head on into a Nissan Sentra being driven by Kayla Bowen, 17, of Pemberton Township. Ms. Bowen was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation further determined that Sprague had been consuming alcohol prior to the crash at a nearby bar, and reached a speed exceeding 90 mph prior to the collision. She suffered extensive injuries from which she is still recovering.

In addition to the criminal charges, Sprague was issued multiple traffic citations, including Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. She is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit.

The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police. The lead investigators are BCPO Detectives Brian Cunningham and Melyssa Alonso, and PTPD Detective Joshua Mann.

All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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