Connecticut man admits to Westfield vehicular homicide

A Connecticut man has admitted to being responsible for an alcohol-related crash that killed one person and seriously injured another in Westfield a little less than five years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

On Monday morning, 30-year-old Robert McGowan of Trumbull, Connecticut pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide before state Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan.

It was shortly after 1 a.m. on October 1, 2011 when McGowan was driving his 2009 Honda Accord on Clifton Street in Westfield, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor, who prosecuted the case.

McGowan was speeding in a 25-mph zone when he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Tice Place, striking a 2001 Cadillac Eldorado being driven by 69-year-old Peter Tyliczka, Lawlor said.

Despite the fact that he was wearing his seat belt and the vehicle’s airbag deployed properly, Tyliczka was thrown from the car and killed. A passenger in the vehicle, Tyliczka’s then-61-year-old girlfriend, was seriously injured and transported to a local hospital, where she spent months undergoing treatment and therapy.

An investigation involving the Westfield Police Department, the Union County Police Department Fatal Accident Reconstruction Team, and the Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force determined that McGowan’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.08, over the legal limit in New Jersey.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, October 14, 2016 before Judge Moynihan. McGowan, who apologized for his actions during the course of entering his plea, will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his term before the possibility of parole under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.