It was 6:30pm on October 19th, 2019 when Lavalette Police were summoned to Route 35 North and Guyer Ave for a report of a pedestrian struck with serious injuries. The pedestrian had been struck by a motor vehicle. Officers discovered Thomas Castronovo, 90 of Warren, NJ who had been struck by a vehicle operated by Brian Kosanke, 30 of Lavallette, NJ. Mr. Castronovo was administered lifesaving procedures by first responders and transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

An investigation performed by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Lavallette Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Kosanke was traveling northbound on Route 35 when he struck Mr Castronovo as he crossed Guyer Avenue. Kosanke agreed to submit tot a blood sample and was transported to the hospital for the test. The results of the blood sample revealed that Kosanke was under the influence of Xanax, Cocaine, Fentanyl and Gabapentin at the time of the accident. A warrant was issued for Kosanke’s arrest and he was apprehended on November 7th, 2019. During the course of his arrest, officers found a quantity of Xanax on his person packaged for distribution. Detectives were also able to determine via surveillance footage that prior to police arriving to the accident scene onΒ  October 19th, 2019, Kosanke had removed something from his vehicle. Further investigation revealed that Kosanke had taken an amount of Heroin from his vehicle and hit it on the side of the road. Kosanke retrieved the Heroin after he was released from the hospital.

Kosanke is curently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending his arraignment after being indicted by a grand jury on Febuary 12th 2020. The charges are as follows:

  • Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a
  • Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 11-5.3a
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Xanax in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3)
  • Possession of Xanax in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1)
  • Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b(1)

Kosanke is also facing the motor vehicle charge of Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.