MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (CBS) — A 27-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison for driving under the influence which caused the crash that killed his 4-year-old son and injured the boy’s twin brother. The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office says Ossie Thomas has to serve 85% of his sentence before he can become eligible for parole.
Thomas pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, and driving while intoxicated in June.
An investigation began after Willingboro Township police officers were called to the area of Rancocas Road and Primrose Lane for a motor vehicle crash just before 2 p.m. on Jan. 8.
Detectives found Thomas was speeding when he lost control of the vehicle and ended up in a wooded area near the intersection.
One of the twin boys was pronounced dead an hour after the crash at a local hospital and the other was treated for a traumatic brain injury at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden.
Toxicology reports showed he had marijuana in his system and a blood alcohol content of .125%.
“Yet again, we are confronted with a scenario where a child’s life was lost due to a parent’s decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. “I urge everyone to think ahead about transportation when planning to have adult beverages. Choose a designated driver, call a cab, or use a ride-sharing or ride-hailing service. It’s as easy as sending a text.”
Thomas was sentenced in Superior Court and ordered to report to the Burlington County Jail on Jan. 3.