Man charged for killing 72-year-old, leaving scene of fatal crash

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BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ –  A Browns Mills man found himself in jail after fleeing a fatal crash in Pemberton Township.  Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Pemberton Twp. Police Department Chief David King announced that a township woman has been charged with striking and killing a 72-year-old Browns Mills man as he was crossing Lakehurst Road in late 2019, and her husband has been charged with helping her try to conceal the crime.

Tonya Brown, 35, and Victor Brown, 44, of the 100 block of Kinsley Road, were both charged with Hindering Apprehension (Third Degree) and Tampering with Evidence (Fourth Degree). Tonya Brown, who was driving, was additionally charged with Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident (Second Degree), Endangering an Injured Victim (Third Degree), and Causing Death while Driving Unlicensed (Third Degree).

The defendants were taken into custody on December 29, 2020. Tonya was transported to the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, while Victor was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. They will each face a detention hearing tomorrow in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

The investigation revealed that on December 27, 2019 at approximately 7 p.m., the couple was traveling east on Lakehurst Road near Choctaw Drive in a Nissan Pathfinder when they struck Ronald Zukowski, who was attempting to cross the roadway.


The investigation further revealed that the vehicle sped away after striking Zukowski without stopping to provide assistance. The Browns then drove to a property on Bayberry Street and covered their SUV with a tarp.

Paint chips taken from Ronald Zukowski’s clothing were compared to chips taken from the Pathfinder by the New Jersey State Police
Office of Forensic Sciences, which concluded the samples originated from the same vehicle.

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis. The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Sergeant Nicholas Villano and Pemberton Township Patrolman Vincent Cestare.  All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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