MOUNT HOLLY – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Nutley man was sentenced today to 10 years in New Jersey state prison for causing the death of another motorist while intoxicated during a 2018 collision on Route 73 in Mount Laurel.
William Dunbar, 26, must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. He pled guilty in January to Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) before the Hon. Philip E. Haines in Superior Court.
Dunbar was driving northbound in excess of 100 miles per hour when he crashed into the rear of another vehicle traveling in the same direction near Church Road on August 19, 2018.
The driver of the vehicle struck by Dunbar, Christopher Pappas, 34, of Howell, was pronounced dead at the scene. The force of the impact caused his car to overturn and strike a utility pole before coming to rest. Neither vehicle had passengers.
The investigation revealed that Dunbar had been drinking alcohol at a concert earlier in the day. His blood alcohol level was .118.
“Yet again, we find ourselves mourning the preventable death of a terrific person who was loved and cherished by so many,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “It is heartbreaking to witness the devastating fallout for Christopher’s friends and family members, all of it due to drinking and driving.”
Several people, including Christopher’s mother, told Judge Haines that Christopher was an easygoing person who was very caring, funny and loyal to those he loved.
At the end of the proceeding, Judge Haines noted that “these are some of the hardest kinds of cases a judge could have.”
“Everybody’s heart is broken,” he said.
Dunbar was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Douglas J. Bligh. The investigation was conducted by the Mount Laurel Police Department, with assistance from the Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey State Police. The lead investigator was Mount Laurel Police Sergeant Nicholas DiGirolamo.