A Toms River man who was high on heroin when he killed an elderly pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident, has been sentenced to nine years in prison. He's also forgiven by the man's family.

Joseph Marsh
Joseph Marsh (Ocean County Jail)

Joseph Marsh had pleaded guilty in June to a vehicular homicide charge stemming from the December 2013 death of William Gaughan. The 84-year-old was struck in South Toms River while trying to cross a roadway and died several hours later.

Gaughan's daughter, Lucy Barrone, offered forgiveness to Marsh in accordance to what she believes would be her father's wishes.

"He would want us to forgive you and for us to move on with our lives as well," she told the 28-year-old at sentencing, according to the Asbury Park Press. "So good luck and God bless." 

Gaughan was the founder of the South Toms River Youth Athletic League and wanted to help troubled kids by way of sports.

Prosecutors say Marsh fled the scene moments after the accident occurred. They also said he replaced a damaged windshield and removed identifying documents from the car to cover up his involvement.

Marsh also received a seven-year sentence on Friday for an unrelated drug case. That term will run concurrently with the vehicular homicide sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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