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Oak Ridge Man Pleads Not Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

21-year-old accused of being on heroin when he crashed into two cars, killing one woman.

An Oak Ridge man accused of being on heroin when he crashed into two cars, killing one woman and injuring another earlier this month in West Milford, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in State Superior Court.

Sonny Gorzala, 21, has been charged with vehicular homicide within 1,000 feet of a school, driving under the influence, possession of heroin, assault by auto, and causing severe bodily injury, according to Passaic County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Paul DeGroot.

Rosemary Puig, 58, of Newfoundland, was killed after Gorzala collided head on with her on Macopin Road in West Milford on Nov. 9 while he was allegedly on heroin, DeGroot said.

Gorzala was traveling northbound in his 2005 Audi A4 when he crossed over into the southbound lane and crashed into Puig's 2005 Nissan Sentra, according to a report supplied by Detective/Sergeant Stephen Singerline of the West Milford Police.

Puig succumbed to her injuries as a result of the incident and passed away on Nov. 22, after being hospitalized with severe injuries since the crash, the report said. 

Gorzala is also charged with first crashing into Margaret Davis, 59, who sustained scrapes and bruises, DeGroot said.

Gorzala was represented by Attorney Roy Greenman in his first appearance in court Wednesday, DeGroot said.

DeGroot said Gorzala will next appear in front of the grand jury in the next several months.

"I expect the grand jury to hand down an indictment on that," DeGroot said.

Gorzala is currently being held at Passaic County Jail on $450,000 bail without a 10 percent option, DeGroot said.

DeGroot said bail is outside of the permissible range, and he expects it to be lowered between $250,000 and $350,000 with no 10 percent option.

DeGroot said Gorzola will remain in the Passaic County Jail until he appears in court again. If Gorzola attempts to make bail or have it lowered, DeGroot said he will oppose it.

Elisa DeYoung November 29, 2012 at 05:35 PM
So very sad for all involved. People sometimes don't realize an addiction isn't something you really want. Sonny was a nice boy growing up and from a very nice, loving, caring family. Now he may get the help he needed and there's not another life taken. Hoping other parents will realize when their family member needs help in the right time before such tragedy happens. Sincere condolences.
Ann Tate November 29, 2012 at 08:46 PM
We pray for all the families that this has and will affect for the years to come. This is sad for everyone involved.
joanne sisco November 30, 2012 at 01:01 AM
So sad to see how heroin ruins lives Sonny was a nice kid growing up So very sorry to hear of this tragedy Prauers and condolences to the Puig family
JS November 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I hope every parent shares this horrific story with their kids. Drill the hazards of drug use into thier heads at a young age. No teen who gets high ever thinks I can kill someone and spend my life in a cage. Sad for both families.
Deetwb@hotmail.com November 30, 2012 at 08:03 PM
My heart breaks we as a society must pull together and get rid of the drug dealers in our town and towns around us in fact all towns for that matter no one wakes up and says I want to be a junky sonny comes from a wonderful caring thoughtful Hard working family his family is a mess and I'm sure the family of the deceased woman stop blaming and let's get these drug dealers away from our innocent children don't these police pay attention stop worrying about kids hanging out by mc Donald's and get these big guys (drug dealers ) out of our town

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