Prosecutors can’t prove NJ driver was on cellphone before deadly crash
A judge has dismissed three vehicular homicide counts filed against a teenage driver involved in a deadly crash with a New Jersey Transit bus three years ago.
The ruling came Friday after the judge said Atlantic County prosecutors couldn't prove Melissa Rodriguez was using a hand-held cellphone while driving. The judge said the alleged phone use was crucial to proving the recklessness needed to substantiate the charges.
The Pleasantville resident was 18 when the crash occurred in May 2014. Authorities have said Rodriguez was driving five friends when she crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the bus.
Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, while a third later died at a hospital.
The ruling doesn't prevent prosecutors from presenting the case to a different grand jury.
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