NJ woman gets 8 years in prison for DWI crash that killed Pemberton teen
PEMBERTON — A woman who drunkenly drove head-on into another car and killed a 17-year-old girl has accepted a plea deal that will put her behind bars for nearly a decade.
Wanda Sprague, 55, of Pemberton, said in court Wednesday that she had no memory of driving at over 90 miles per hour directly into a Nissan Sentra driven by Kayla Bowen, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
Sprague pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. As part of her plea agreement, she will be sentenced to eight years in state prison. Her sentencing is set for Nov. 16.
Pemberton police responded to the intersection of Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane around 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2021, for a report of a crash, according to prosecutors. They found Bowen, a Brown Mills resident, dead at the scene.
Prosecutors said Sprague was behind the wheel with a BAC of nearly .19, more than double the legal limit. An investigation found that she had been drinking at a bar earlier in the evening. The eatery was two miles away from the site of the crash.
The investigation also found that Sprague did not have the headlights of her Chrysler 300 turned on.
Sprague spoke from a wheelchair during her court appearance Wednesday. According to prosecutors, Sprague said that she has had several surgeries and could need a foot amputated.
According to Bowen's obituary, she was a senior at Pemberton Township High School and was enrolled in the school's Medical Arts Program.
"There wasn’t anything that Kayla couldn’t accomplish. She was beautiful inside and out," her obituary said.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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