N.J. driver sentenced for sleep aid-related fatal crash


A New Jersey man who caused a fatal crash after taking four times the recommended dose of the sleep aid Ambien has been sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Dennis Smentkowski was also ordered Tuesday to serve three years of supervised release once he’s freed from prison. The 47-year-old Tinton Falls resident had pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter.
The crash occurred on military property near Fort Monmouth in 2008. The facility has since closed, but the federal courts have jurisdiction over the former Army land.
Smentkowski was driving near the east gate of Fort Monmouth when he drove across a double-yellow line into oncoming traffic. His vehicle collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Donald Merce, a school principal who was on his way to his job.

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