A New Jersey man has been charged in the death of his girlfriend after allegedly driving his car into the icy Delaware River and leaving her to drown in the passenger seat as he fled the scene of the accident Sunday.
According to Burlington County, N.J., Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Burlington City Police Chief Alan Snow, 23-year-old Stephanie White of Burlington City died in the accident. Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Jacob T. Garrett—also of Burlington City—was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing a death while driving with a suspended license and endangering an injured victim, the Burlington County Times reports.
Garrett is currently in custody. His first court date has not yet been scheduled.
Garrett was allegedly driving at a high speed around 1 p.m. on Sunday when his vehicle hit a parked minivan and crashed through a barrier along the Riverfront Promenade, then landed in the river.
According to witnesses, Garrett was standing on top of the submerged vehicle asking people to help “his girlfriend.” Bystanders pulled him out of the river, and he fled in panic.
First responders found White still in her seat in the submerged vehicle with her seat belt fastened. She was removed from the vehicle and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A police dog tracked Garrett to a light-rail station, and he was subsequently found on a train. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, and more charges are possible.