Brent Burke of Barnegat, New Jersey was headed north on Route 9 in the area of Bayshore Drive when he crossed the center line and veered into oncoming traffic. Burke’s Dodge Dakota collided head-on with a Chevy Trailblazer driven by Stephen Len, also of Barnegat. The impact sent Len’s vehicle into northbound lanes where it struck a car driven by Steve Catranis of Waretown. Catranis and his wife, Julie Catranis, were both airlifted to hospital where Steve Catranis died. Julie Catranis is listed in critical condition.
Barnegat police reported that Burke fled the scene following the crash. He was later found and cited for driving under the influence. He can expect vehicular homide charges to be filed on Monday and, based upon a number of factors including his BAC, he will likely be charged with aggravated manslaughter. If that happens, he’ll need a good attorney to secure a good plea.
These cases are very tough to try and the the State will get a flight charge if the case goes to trial. As a result, the jury will hate him even more than they already do. We’ll have to see who he gets as an attorney.