The driver in the horrific crash that left four young men dead in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018 had been drinking and had a blood-alcohol level more than twice that of the legal limit, according to a police investigation.
Kevin Quispe-Prieto, 21, of Beachwood, and Jimmy Quispe-Prieto, 23, Victor Lugo, 24, and Robert Ordeñana, 23, all of Lakewood, were killed when their car slammed into the back of a tanker truck on the Garden State Parkway in Toms River.
Kevin and Jimmy Quispe-Prieto were brothers, with Kevin driving and Jimmy sitting in the front seat.
According to an investigation from New Jersey State Police obtained through an Open Public Records Act request, all four men had been drinking. Kevin Quispe-Prieto’s blood-alcohol level was .201, while the other three ranged higher between .227 and .338.
Their Infiniti was damaged from the from bumper to the back seats, with the hood and dashboard pushed back, the roof folded downward, the report states. No tire marks were present to suggest emergency braking had been attempted, investigators noted.
Prior to the crash, Kevin and Jimmy Quispe-Prieto had Christmas dinner with their family then played video games with another brother at their apartment. They were scheduled to work at 8 a.m., and had no known plans for the night when their brother left.
The tanker truck’s driver, who had 16 years of commercial driving experience, told investigators he did not see any other vehicles on the roadway with him, and then suddenly felt a collision from behind. He slowed to a stop, dragging the vehicle beneath his truck.
A passerby stopped, telling the truck’s driver they had seen a car barreling down the parkway at a high rate of speed, the report stated. The report ultimately attributed fault in the crash to Kevin Quispe-Prieto, who was unable to stop the car and avoid a collision with the tanker truck.
The four young men were remembered fondly as positive influences in their community.
Ordeñana served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a rifleman for three years, achieving a rank of lance corporal in 2015 and earning the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Lugo, who was employed by the Lakewood Public Works Department, dreamed of following in his stepfather’s footsteps to become a police officer.
Jimmy Quispe-Prieto, was studying jiu-jisu at the Cohesion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Toms River, and was also a Toms River High School East alum, along with his brother Kevin, who ran track at the high school and went on to attend Wilkes University.
Amanda Hoover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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