FREEHOLD – Both drivers involved in a fatal two-vehicle collision last summer in Eatontown have been criminally charged after an investigation revealed they were both intoxicated at the time of the crash, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Zyasia M. Henson, 28, of Long Branch and Edgar G. Marcial-Diaz, 32, of Red Bank are both charged with second-degree Vehicular Homicide and two counts of third-degree Assault by Auto. Additionally, Henson is charged with two counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, as well as third-degree Hindering Apprehension. 

At approximately 7:50 p.m. on Thursday, August 24, 2023, members of the Eatontown Police Department responded to the intersection of Route 35 and Broad Street on a report of a motor vehicle crash; there they located the two involved vehicles, a 2006 Nissan Altima operated by Henson and a 2002 Dodge Durango operated by Marcial-Diaz.

Marcial-Diaz was the only occupant of his vehicle, while Henson’s vehicle had four relatives as passengers, including a 26-year-old woman, 23-year-old Octavius Wallace of Lake City, South Carolina, and her 4-year-old and 1-year-old sons. Wallace sustained catastrophic injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Both drivers and Henson’s 1-year-old son escaped serious injury, despite the infant child being ejected from the vehicle as a result of the crash. Henson’s adult female passenger and her older son sustained serious injuries and were transported to local medical facilities for treatment.   

An investigation involving members of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Serious Collision Response Team (SCART), and the Eatontown Police Department ultimately determined that both drivers failed to stop for red lights on their respective sides of the roadway. The investigation also determined that both drivers were under the influence of one or more intoxicating substances at the time of the crash.

Henson and Marcial-Diaz were criminally charged last month pending future proceedings in Monmouth County Superior Court. They were also both issued summonses for Driving While Intoxicated, Failure to Observe a Traffic Signal, and Reckless Driving.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau. Marcial-Diaz is being represented by John Murphy III, with an office in Staten Island, while Henson is being represented by Raymond L. Hamlin, with an office in Newark.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.