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Driver charged in Woodbridge crash that killed one, seriously injured another


A woman from Middletown has been charged with causing the death of one passenger and seriously injuring another in a crash on the Garden State Parkway in the early morning hours of Nov. 26.

Kimberly Franklin, 20, was criminally charged on Dec. 5 with aggravated manslaughter in the first degree and assault by auto in the third degree. In addition, she was issued motor vehicle summonses for driving while intoxicated, reckless and careless driving, and failure to maintain lane, according to information provided by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

The deceased passenger was identified as Nicole Smith, 18, of Middletown. She was pronounced dead at the scene from the injuries she sustained in the crash.

The other passenger, a 20-year old female, also from Middletown, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with serious injuries.

Franklin was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

The crash is being investigated by Detective Anthony Giunta of the New Jersey State Police and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation determined that at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, Franklin was driving a 2018 Dodge Charger when she rear-ended a 2009 Nissan Rogue on the southbound Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge, according to the statement. The Dodge proceeded to strike a guard rail and tree, then overturned, causing her two passengers to be ejected from the vehicle, according to the statement. A third vehicle, a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, struck a detached tire from the Charger.

The drivers of the Nissan and the Hyundai were not injured in the crash.

Anyone with information should call Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.

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