A Lavallette man, who was under the influence of drugs when he struck a pedestrian on Route 35 who later died in October of 2019, has plead guilty to Vehicular Homicide and now faces eight-years in prison when sentenced, Ocean County First Assistant Prosecutor Michael Nolan announced on Thursday.

Brian Kosanke, 41, also pled guilty to Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution (which he faces a concurrent sentence of 18-months) and Driving While Intoxicated for causing the death of 80-year old Thomas Castronovo of Warren.

Lavallette Police were first to the scene on October 19, 2019 around 6:30 pm in the area of Route 35 North and Guyer Avenue where they found Castronovo, learning that he had been hit by a vehicle.

The victim was brought to Community Medical Center after lifesaving measures were initiated by first responders but Castronovo passed away at the hospital.

OCPO Vehicular Homicide Unit Detectives along with those with Lavallette Police and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit learned through their investigation that Kosanke struck Castronovo as he was crossing at the Guyer Avenue intersection.

Assistant Prosecutor Nolan said that Kosanke agreed to submit to a blood sample test which uncovered that he was under the influence of Xanax, Cocaine, Fentanyl and Gabapentin when he hit Castronovo.

Kosanke has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since he was arrested on November 7, 2019.

First Assistant Prosecutor Nolan said that Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Sheehan and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron are handling the case on behalf of the State.

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