Prosecutor: Drunk Driver Kills East Hanover Man

Parsippany woman charged with vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated.

A 32-year-old Parsippany woman was charged Sunday with vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated after she struck and killed an East Hanover man and crashed into parked cars Saturday afternoon, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.

Vanessa E. Brown was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, careless driving, failure to maintain her lane, driving with unsafe tires and driving an unregistered vehicle.

UPDATE: The charges were upgraded Monday to include first-degree aggravated manslaughter.

According to a statement released Sunday by Capt. Jeffrey Paul, a spokesman for Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Brown's 2008 black four-door Toyota Camry struck and killed Ralph Politi Jr. near 30 Ridgedale Ave. in East Hanover Saturday at about 1:50 p.m.

Politi, 49, was standing by the driver's-side door of his pickup truck, which was parked in a space parallel to the roadway, when he was struck, the prosecutor's office said.

Brown's vehicle left the roadway, struck Politi and continued another approximately 60 feet and crashed into several parked cars in a nearby lot, the prosecutor's office said.

There were no other occupants in Brown's vehicle, the prosecutor's office said.

Brown is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail with no 10 percent option.

A joint investigation was conducted by the East Hanover Township Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit, Morris County Prosecutor's Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Morris County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Section and the Morris County Medical Examiner's Office.

The investigation remains ongoing. If anyone has information regarding the incident, contact the East Hanover Police Department at 973-887-0432, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office at 973-285-6200 or the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Program at 973-COP-CALL.

Annonymoud May 06, 2012 at 08:43 PM
She is 100,000 per cent wrong but her punishment of carrying that guilt is worse than any jail time she deserves and will get.
Susan Klemmerer May 06, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Agreed. A terrible accident which needs forgiveness.
Teddy May 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Driving drunk and going 65mph on ridgedale ave is no accident. It is criminal and inexcusable and forgiveness is not what comes to my mind
kcapurso May 06, 2012 at 11:39 PM
My prayers are with his wife and twin daughters! East Hanover lost an AMAZING man! I can't even imagine driving drunk in this day & age....WTF????
kcapurso May 06, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Susan, forgiveness? REALLY????? Driving drunk & killing an amazing man...are you for real? I am a faithful person, I believe in forgiveness, I saw Ralph in church EVERY weekend.....are we supposed to forgive stupid CHOICES? Driving drunk is a choice!
John smith May 07, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Huh... Was he deaf? Did he not notice her coming? Seems like he could've used a little situational awareness...
Jen May 07, 2012 at 02:48 PM
John Smith - are you always that insensitive? A woman drives drunk, hits and kills a man and it is his fault he didn't "hear" her coming??? I grew up in EH and I know exactly where the accident happened. If she was traveling south ( drunk and at a high rate of speed) and he was parked parallel it means she came up from behind! The road is not narrow and there is plenty of room to open your door without any danger of getting hit by someone traveling southbound! I would probably bet that he never saw or heard her coming. And, I agree living with what she did is punishment, however, the key word is LIVING. She chose to drive drunk, and drive uninsured, and who knows what else...Unfortunately, the person she hit doesn't get the opportunity to LIVE nor does his family get a chance to hug him or tell them they love him ever again! She deserves the maximum punishment!!!
Chatsum May 07, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I am used to seeing drunk driving arrests at 1:50 am not 1:50 pm. Wow she needs serious help.
John smith May 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Situational awareness means that you sre aware of your surroundings, not just what's in front of you. It's not a difficult concept.
FiftyFour May 07, 2012 at 03:29 PM
John Smith - Really! What is wrong with you?
Sam May 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
John smith- maybe you should now the details. He was reaching in the car, so his back was to the oncoming traffic- the DRUNK women jumped the curb going 65 miles an hour and after hitting him kept going until she hit the other cars that were parked in the parking lot......would you like to change your opnion now that he should have seen it coming. This was also Ms Brown's second offense......anyone still think she should get off, does she need a 3rd chance????
Chris May 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM
John Smith- It is easy to hide behind the mask of the internet and say ignorant and insensitive comments. A man with any honor or humility would keep his idiotic blabbering to himself. You can't put the blame on the man for getting his from behind. Cars make about the same amount of noise safely driving past you as they do before that crash into you from behind. Keep your mouth shut. Or fingers I guess.
JFO May 07, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Are you serious? This country is littered with people who do this multiple times if allowed, so please save us all the bs about internal guilt being worse than jail time. This woman deserves to go to jail big time!
JFO May 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
John Smith -- it is crystal clear that YOU have zero situational awareness -- perhaps the most idiotic comment I have every seen
JimmyCarterIsSmarter May 07, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Ms. Brown is one of my best friends, and it is sad to see this has happened to that family. Don't know where the 65 mph fact came about or that she was not insured, so lets keep the unknown out of this. Those statements have not been mentioned in ANY report.
Jim May 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM
John Smith the definition of a "parking" lot is not a difficult concept to understand but let me elighten you. People PARK in them they don't expect a drunk doing over 60 to jump the curb and end their life in an instant. Ralph is a friend of mine and you are beyond pathetic with your comments.
Jim Dailey May 07, 2012 at 04:28 PM
@ John Smith. Just worry about what's going on on Woodland Rd.
Jim May 07, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Yes Susan I'll be sure to suggest just that to his wife and twin daughters on the day of his funeral. He woke Saturday morning like any other just this one happened to be his last. I mean are you serious the Drunk Driver at 1:50PM should be forgiven? Ralph was a pillar in this community a great loss what was she?
Jim May 07, 2012 at 04:40 PM
From her track record she should have learned before it was too late. People like this simply do not care until something so bad happend that can never be taken back. I hope she gets everything she deserves.
Jim May 07, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Please lets remember who the victim was in this crime.
Sam May 07, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Jimmy Carter is smarter- It has been stated that she was going 65 MPH in many other articles, try reading them- I don't see what the difference is if she was insured or not, do you think that is going to make her a better person?- she decided to get behind the wheel when she shouldn't have- and took a life of a friend. I see from a recent posting of yours, regarding the Pt pleasant drinking ordnance that your thinking of drinking may be much the same as your dear friend, which makes you NOT SMARTER!
Micky johnston May 07, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Ughhhh so mean.
Lee Ann May 07, 2012 at 10:53 PM
John Smith with his fake name and very insensitive is an fin moron and probably never dealt with a real loss in his life one way or another. Im sure this girl didnt set out to kill someone that day, but she made a choice to drive while under the influence and thought of NO ONE but herself that day. she is 32 and looks 72, thats what abuse does to a person. I pray that she will be forgiven by god, but punished to the max by the law!
Mike H May 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM
@John Smith stop taking pics of everyone who drives by your house. It's not polite and is very unneighborly. You don't want the MAN to come and take your toys away. Again. Behave yourself.
Ron Swanson May 08, 2012 at 12:28 PM
She needs to be punished severely for this heinous crime. Susan: forgiveness? Maybe on some spiritual level, but even if we forgive, it doesn't mean we don't punish. This woman is a menace to society and needs to spend many years behind bars for the choice she made in killing Mr. Politi. As for John Smith, please ignore this idiot. He's clearly a troll who's intentionally baiting people.
Steve May 08, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Jimmy Carter, one of your best friends? Where have you been in her time of need to battle her alcoholism?
Eliza May 10, 2012 at 12:58 AM
IT IS SAD THAT JOHN SMITH wants more attention then a drunk driver who killed an innocent family man. While reading this i realized he makes these comments to take the light off drunk brown and mr politi, he has more problems then she does. This is not about you Smith, its about the loss the life..I wouldnt reply or comment to one more word this so called person has to say. A man lost his life, daughters lost their dad and a wife lost her husband. And a drunk driver ruined many peoples lives with another bad choice..Speak of the sad loss of a good man, but if it were any of you i wouldnt give this person the time of day.
JimmyCarterIsSmarter May 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I could actually care less about the drinking ordinance in my town. Close the bars at 11 for all I care, i'm never out as it is. I care about the ordinance because it is going to hurt our town financially. It also is going to hurt friends of mine who earn a living from the tourists. So YOU are wrong, as I barely drink.. Idiot!
JimmyCarterIsSmarter May 22, 2012 at 05:37 PM
She moved out of town, I can't be everywhere for everyone. People make mistakes. Are you perfect steve???
NJ Resident11 May 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM
god bless the byrne and politi family.


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