Aggravated Manslaughter charges filed in crash that killed Lakewood employee

fatalOcean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little today announced the arrest of Jack Kennedy Jr., 34, of Jackson for the charge of Aggravated Manslaughter. The charges stem from a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred on July 14 on Whitesville road, resulting in the death of Michael Gormley, 60, of Lanoka Harbor and employee of Lakewood.

On July 29th Toms River Traffic Safety Officers and Ocean County Prosecutors Office Vehicular Homicide Unit arrested Jack Kennedy Jr. on the above charges at his Violet Lane residence in Jackson without incident. The investigation alleges that Kennedy was under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance at the time he caused the July 14 Whiteville Road fatal motor vehicle crash.

The Aggravated Manslaughter charge, which was signed by OCPO Detective Brad Frank, has a bail amount of $200,000 full cash. Additionally, Toms River Officer Terry Warren charged Kennedy with Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Failure to Maintain a Marked Lane, and Failing to have his vehicle Properly Inspected. Kennedy is currently being held in the Ocean County Jail.

In the original press release, issued at the time of the crash, it was reported that the Toms River Police responded to a motor vehicle crash on Whitesville Road at Medjay Lane. Michael Gormley, 60, of Lanoka Harbor was traveling north on Whitesville Road in his 2010 Chevy Malibu. Jack Kennedy Jr., 34, of Jackson was operating a 2000 Nissan XTR traveling south in the opposite direction. Kennedy crossed over the center yellow line and struck Gormley’s vehicle head on. A third vehicle that was traveling north behind Gormley’s tried to avoid the crash, but was unable to do so. The driver of that 2015 Kia, Dawn Kavchok, 45, of Manchester was taken to Community medical center for treatment of minor injuries.

Michael Gormley died as a result of his injuries. Kennedy was treated for his injuries at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township. Pleasant Plains and Silverton Fire Companies responded in order to extricate the victims from their vehicles. The injured were transported to area hospitals by Toms River and Silverton EMS Units.

The crash investigation was led by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Terry Warren. He was assisted by Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Investigators Mike Proto and Brad Frank. Also assisting on the scene were members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department C.S.I. Division.


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