Fatal Crash Caused by Passenger Grabbing Steering Wheel, Drunken Driver: Indictment
The crash in West Deptford on Sept. 17, 2011, killed 31-year-old Jenita Noel of Sewell.
Two men in the same vehicle were responsible for a single-car crash that killed a 31-year-old Sewell woman, prosecutors allege.
One of them, from the back seat grabbed the steering wheel, causing the driver—who allegedly was drunk—to lose control of the vehicle, according to court documents.
Additional details about the crash on I-295 in West Deptford just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2011, were revealed in an indictment handed up by a Gloucester County grand jury last week against the two men.
Rudolph M. Curvy, 41, of Woodbury, was charged in the indictment with a second-degree count of reckless manslaughter and a fourth-degree count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Curvy grabbed the steering wheel, causing the 2004 Chevrolet Impala to veer off the highway and then strike a tree and a guardrail, according to a criminal complaint.
Another passenger in the vehicle, Jenita Noel, was flung from the car. She was pronounced dead after being flown to Cooper Trauma Center in Camden.
Two other passengers in the car were transported by ambulance to Cooper, but did not sustain any serious injuries.
The driver Karon Blanton, 33, of West Deptford, was charged in an indictment with vehicular homicide; drunken driving with a suspended license causing an accident and death; and assault by auto.
(To view the indictment and criminal complaints against Curvy and Blanton, click on the PDF above.)
It’s not clear why Curvy allegedly grabbed the steering wheel, causing the crash, although alcohol appears to have been involved, said Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
“They were at a party and then they were headed to a bar,” Weisenfeld said.
Curvy and Blanton are both free on bail, awaiting trial.