Burlington County Court Sentences Man to 6-YEARS for Causing Fatal Five Car Collision on Tacony Bridge
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Philadelphia man who was traveling at a high rate of speed on the Tacony-Palmyra bridge late last year was sentenced yesterday to six years in New Jersey state prison for his role in causing a five-car collision that killed one of the drivers.
The sentence was handed down in Superior Court by the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C. to Jonathan Ramos, 29, who 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.
The investigation began on December 28 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, who was driving a 2018 Dodge Charger, struck the passenger side of Ramos’s 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which forced his vehicle into another 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 pled guilty in September to Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree) and Assault by Auto (Third Degree). During that proceeding, Moore acknowledged causing the fatal crash after losing control of his vehicle while driving aggressively and pursuing the Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by Ramos. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Moore and Ramos are being 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.