A drugged driver caused a multi-vehicle crash in Freehold Township that claimed the lives of a 3-year-old girl and her mother over the summer, according to charges announced by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

Little Egg Harbor resident Thomas Polson, 53, was arrested Friday and charged with vehicular homicide, hindering apprehension, assault by auto, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, the prosecutor's office said.

According to officials, Polson was under the influence of drugs on July 14 when his pickup truck left the southbound lane of Siloam Road around 5 p.m. and struck an SUV before colliding head-on with a minivan driven by 42-year-old Ocean County resident Denise James.

Freehold crash site Old Turkey Swamp and Siloam (Google Maps) Mother killed children hurt Thursday Freehold NJ 2022
Freehold crash site, Old Turkey Swamp and Siloam (Google Maps)

James was pronounced dead at the scene, and her daughter, Lilyanne, succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital. Two other kids in the car, aged 9 and 13, were treated and released.

According to a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $110,000 for their family, James was a nurse and the wife of a lieutenant for the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Authorities are still investigating the crash. Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact MCPO Detective Nicolas Logothetis at 800-533-7443 or Freehold Township Police Department Patrolman Justin Nunno at 732-294-5139.

Polson is lodged at Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a first court appearance and detention hearing.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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