Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Philadelphia man was sentenced yesterday to eight years in New Jersey state prison for causing a five-car collision on the Tacony-Palmyra bridge late last year that killed one of the motorists.
The sentence was handed down in Superior Court by the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., to Brandon Moore, 24, who pled guilty in September to Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree) and Assault by Auto (Third Degree).
Moore acknowledged causing the fatal crash after losing control of his Dodge Charger while driving aggressively and pursuing the Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by Jonathan Ramos, 29, of Philadelphia. Both vehicles exceeded 100 mph during the chase on the narrow bridge.
Ramos pled guilty in July to Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident (Second Degree), as well as traffic summonses for speeding and driving with a suspended license. Judge Haines sentenced him last month to six years in prison.
“This tragic case underscores the truth of the old adage, ‘speed kills.’ The victim, Mr. Martinez, was killed just days after Christmas last year, and another holiday season is upon us,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We urge everyone to keep their cool behind the wheel, and to pause and consider the possible consequences when operating a vehicle while experiencing road rage, or while impaired, distracted, or simply speeding. The risk of depriving your or another person’s family of their loved one, forever, due to an avoidable crash simply is not worth it.”
The investigation began on December 28, 2020, just before 7 p.m., when the Burlington County Bridge Commission Police Department responded to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge for a report of a multi-vehicle crash.
Upon arrival, they observed a heavily damaged Honda Civic and discovered that the driver had been killed by the collision. The decedent was identified as Gerardo Francisco Perez Martinez, 35, of Camden.
The investigation revealed that Ramos and Brandon Moore, 24, of Philadelphia, were both heading west toward the bridge and, after exiting the toll booth, began speeding across the span without regard for the safety of other motorists.
Bridge surveillance video and witness statements concluded that Moore struck the passenger side of Ramos’s vehicle, which forced his SUV into the oncoming lane and led to the fatal collision with Mr. Martinez.
Multiple motorists were taken to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden for treatment.
The investigation determined that Moore reached a top speed of 112 mph, and Ramos at one point was traveling at 106 mph. The posted speed on the bridge is 45 mph.
Following the collision, Ramos exited his vehicle and walked away from the crash scene. He first asked another motorist to call his cell phone because he was unable to locate it in the wreckage. Police later recovered Ramos’s phone inside the vehicle he was driving.
Moore and Ramos were prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Josh Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit.
The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Burlington County Bridge Commission Police Department and the Cinnaminson Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Jack Bowker, BCBCPD Detective Sergeant Brian Laudenslager and CTPD Detective Kevin Bohn.