Lavallette man charged with vehicular homicide


LAVALLETTE — A borough man has been charged with vehicular homicide by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office following an investigation into a fatal accident in mid-October.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced Friday, Nov. 8, Brian Kosanke, 39, has been arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, strict liability vehicular homicide, possession with the intent to distribute Xanax pills, possession of Xanax pills, hindering apprehension and driving while intoxicated.

According to a release from the prosecutor’s office, borough police were summoned to the area of Route 35 North and Guyer Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 on a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle with serious injuries.

At the scene officers discovered Thomas Castronovo, 80, of Warren, “had been struck by a vehicle driven by Mr. Kosanke,” according to the release, which added that life saving procedures were performed by first responders on Mr. Castronovo, who was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where he succumbed to his injuries.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Squad, Lavallette Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Mr. Kosanke was traveling north on Route 35 when he struck Mr. Castronovo as he was crossing at Guyer Avenue.”

Mr. Kosanke agreed to submit to a blood sample, which the results, according to the release, found that “Mr. Kosanke was under the influence of Xanax, Cocaine, Fentanyl and Gabapentin when he struck Mr. Castronovo.”

Law enforcement apprehended Mr. Kosanke on Thursday, Nov. 7 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. “During the course of this arrest, officers found a quantity of Xanax on his person packaged for distribution,” the release states.

In addition, according to the prosecutor’s office, through the review of video surveillance, detectives determined Mr. Kosanke had removed an amount of heroin from his vehicle prior to police arriving on the scene Oct. 19, which he hid on the side of the road and later retrieved, after being released from the hospital.

Mr. Kosanke is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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