21 Aug 2014
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Brick Woman Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide, DWI in Herbertsville Accident

Brick woman's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit during fatal accident; hit-and-run incident just prior

Brick Woman Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide, DWI in Herbertsville Accident
A 61-year-old Brick woman has pleaded guilty to a vehicular homicide charge stemming from a Dec. 18, 2012 accident on Herbertsville Road.

Deborah L. Tadych, 61, admitted in court on Monday that she was drunk when she crossed the double yellow line on Herbertsville Road while driving her 2008 Hyundai Sonata, striking another vehicle head-on. Witnesses said Tadych was driving without her headlights on at the time of the 6:37 p.m. accident, according to prosecutors.

The accident, which took place about 300 feet south of Sawmill Road, Brick police said at the time, claimed the life of Susan Steeper, 65, who was also from Brick.

Two other vehicles observed Tadych's car coming directly at them and were able to avoid impact by pulling to the side of the road, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, but Steeper was unable to avoid the crash. She was eventually extricated from her vehicle and taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries.

Officers at the scene "noted an odor of alcohol about Ms. Tadych," Della Fave said, and subsequent testing showed her blood alcohol level was more than twice the .08 legal limit.

Della Fave also said the investigation into the Herbertsville Road accident revealed that just prior to the collision, Tadych had been involved in a hit and run incident by striking a parked vehicle when pulling out of her driveway just minutes away from the crash scene.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will seek an eight year-long sentence in state prison, subject to the state's No Early Release Act which mandates an offender serve at least 85 percent of their jail term before being eligible for parole. Tadych would also be subject to three years of parole supervision before she is released. Sentencing is presently scheduled for Aug. 29.

Tadych has been has been incarcerated since she was initially charged on Jan. 3, 2013, unable to post bail of $50,000 cash.

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