Manslaughter arrest in fatal Toms River crash



TOMS RIVER - One of the surviving drivers from a crash that killed a 60-year-old Lacey man is facing aggravated manslaughter and other charges, prosecutors say.

Officers from the Toms River Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office's Vehicular Homicide Unit arrested 34-year-old Jack Kennedy Jr. of Jackson on Friday in connection with a July 14 Whitesville Road crash that left Michael Gormley dead.

Gormley was driving his 2010 Chevrolet Malibu north on Whitesville around 7 a.m., and Kennedy was coming the other way in a 2000 Nissan Xterra, police said at the time. Kennedy drifted over the center line and collided with Gormley head-on.

Dawn Kavchok, a 45-year-old Manchester woman, was unable to steer her 2015 Kia around the cars and collided with them, police said. Medics took her to Community Medical Center, and Kennedy went to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
Gormley died of his injuries.
"The investigation alleges that Kennedy was under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance at the time he caused the July 14 Whiteville Road fatal motor vehicle crash," said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the county prosecutor. He clarified that the drug was "related" to opiates.
In addition to the aggravated manslaughter charge, Kennedy is facing charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving, failure to maintain a marked lane and foregoing inspection, said Della Fave. He was held at Ocean County Jail in lieu of a $200,000 bail.
Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Terry Warren led the investigation with help from prosecutor's investigators Mike Proto and Brad Frank, as well as crime scene investigators from the Ocean County Sheriff's Office, said Della Fave.
The vehicles involved in a fatal collision on Whitesville Road in Toms River are
removed from the scene Thursday, July 14, 2016. (Photo: THOMAS P. COSTELLO)