Driver who OD’d can’t remember crash that killed 3, lawyer says
The Sussex County man accused of being high on heroin while plowing his SUV into a gas station in Wayne, killing a father, his teen son and a station attendant, remained held without bail on Monday.
Jason Vanderee, 29, of Glenwood in Vernon Township, previously was charged with three counts of aggravated manslaughter, death by auto and death by auto while driving intoxicated within 1,000 feet of school property as well as drug-related offenses including possession of hypodermic needles.
NJ Advance Media reported that during a Monday appearance in Passaic County Superior Court before Judge Ernest M. Caposela, Vanderee’s attorney did not object to his client's continued detention. The report also said Vanderee has no memories of the crash along Route 23 nearly a week ago, on Feb. 19.
“Jason feels the overwhelming weight of responsibility for the deaths," John Latoracca said, according to NorthJersey.com. He also said “Three people were killed. He feels horrible." The same report said Vanderee declined to speak in court.
His case next will be presented to a grand jury.
Jon Warbeck and his 17-year-old son, Luke, were remembered at joint funeral services on Sunday evening. The teen, a Boonton High School Junior, had split his time between his mother's home in Lincoln Park and his father's residence in Fair Lawn.
More than $14,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign for funeral and family expenses of 22-year-old Lovedeep Fatra, of Pequannock. The India native had moved to New Jersey nearly two years ago and much of his family remains there.
Vanderee has a long history of driving while intoxicated and heroin-related offenses. They range from a 2016 arrest for heroin possession (downgraded in Municipal Court), a 2017 DWI offense that led to his license being suspended for several months, and at least four accidents in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2016.
The NorthJersey.com report also cited court records that said police found several bags of heroin and a used needle in Vanderee's Honda Pilot, when they revived him with Narcan at the site of the deadly crash last Tuesday.
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