Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Willingboro Township Public Safety Director Gregory Rucker announced that a 27-year-old Mount Laurel man was charged today with causing the death of his 4-year-old son and injuring the boy’s twin brother during an automobile crash in Willingboro earlier this year.
Ossie Thomas was charged with one count of Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree), two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), Assault by Auto (Third Degree), Driving While Suspended and Causing a Fatal Accident (Third Degree) and Driving While Suspended and Causing Bodily Injury (Fourth Degree).
Thomas faces a first appearance in Superior Court in Mount Holly this afternoon. Afterward, the case will be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury.
Willingboro Township Police Department patrol officers were called to the area of Rancocas Road and Primrose Lane just before 2 p.m. on January 8, 2019 on a report of a motor vehicle crash.
The investigation, which was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Willingboro Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, revealed that Thomas was traveling east on Rancocas Road at a high rate of speed and attempted to turn onto Primrose Lane. He lost control of the vehicle and veered into a wooded area near the intersection.
One of the twins was pronounced dead an hour later at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro. The other child was taken to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden and treated for a traumatic brain injury. He has since been released.
The criminal charges were filed based on eyewitness accounts, as well as the results of toxicology tests conducted on blood drawn from Thomas following the incident. Thomas was also issued multiple traffic summonses, including for Driving While Intoxicated, Having an Open Container of Alcohol, Driving with a Suspended License and failing to properly restrain his children.
He was taken into custody this morning by members of the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Warrant Unit, with assistance from the Medford Township Police Department. Thomas is being prosecuted by BCPO Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Melvin Rogers and Willingboro Police Detectives Gil Quinones and Monica Podraza.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.