A woman from Pemberton Township has been sentenced to eight years in state prison for driving while impaired and causing the death of a teenager in a head-on crash after she had been drinking at a bar.

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Under an agreement with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, 55-year-old Wanda Sprague pleaded guilty in September to one count of aggravated manslaughter. She was sentenced as a second-degree offender in Superior Court on Wednesday.

An investigation began on the night of December 16, 2021, after officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department were called to the area of Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane for a report of a crash.

Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane in Pemberton Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Lakehurst Road and Rancocas Lane in Pemberton Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps

Police determined that the headlights on Sprague's car were not on when she crashed head-on into a vehicle being driven by 17-year-old Kayla Bowen, also of Pemberton Township. Bowen was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation further determined that Sprague had been consuming alcohol prior to the crash at the Country Lakes Pub and Grill, and reached a speed exceeding 90 mph prior to the collision. Her blood alcohol concentration following the crash was .188, more than twice the legal limit.

Sprague told the court she had no recollection of the collision. Authorities said she has had several surgeries and appeared for sentencing in a wheelchair.

The investigation into the accident was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department with assistance from New Jersey State Police.

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