A 32-year-old woman from Monmouth County will serve a five-year prison term for her role in the death of a 78-year-old Brick woman in a motor vehicle accident.
Ashley Watkins, 32, was sentenced Dec. 1 by Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan in the May 9, 2021 death of Brick resident Nancy Penrod. She must serve 85 percent of her sentence in state prison before becoming eligible for parole.
Watkins pled guilty to the charge before Ryan on Oct. 5, 2023. Additionally, on Dec. 1, 2023, Watkins pled guilty to the motor vehicle offense of Driving While Intoxicated; as a consequence, Ryan suspended Watkins’ driving privileges for a term of seven months.
Watkins sustained only minor injuries from the crash, and was taken to Ocean Medical Center for treatment. A blood test later confirmed she had fentanyl, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and marijuana in her blood stream, which rendered her unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle at the time of the crash, which occurred when Watkins’ 2011 Toyota Camry was traveling southwest on Lanes Mill Road when she crossed the center line of the roadway and collided head-on with a 2014 Dodge Caravan, operated by Terry Penrod, 78, of Brick. Penrod’s wife, Nancy Penrod, was a passenger in the vehicle.
Terry Penrod sustained a broken leg and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment. Nancy Penrod was transported to Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.