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Stafford Councilman's Son Indicted in Crash that Killed Barnegat Man

Robert Kusznikow indicted on count of second degree vehicular homicide

Almost a year to the day after the crash that killed Michael Grosso Jr. of Barnegat, the Stafford Township man accused of causing Grosso's death has been indicted.

Robert Kusznikow, 26, was indicted Wednesday by an Ocean County grand jury on a count of second-degree vehicular homicide in the death of Grosso. The indictment alleges that on Sept. 21, 2011, Kusznikow recklessly operated a 2005 Ford F150 while intoxicated and hit Grosso, killing him.

According to police reports about the incident, Grosso, 76, was standing outside his SUV on Mermaid Drive in Manahawkin at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21 when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by Kusznikow. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office later said Kusznikow veered off the road and struck a utility pole before hitting Grosso. Grosso was taken to Southern Ocean County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Grosso, who owned Grandson and Grandpa Construction LLC in Barnegat, was on his way to a job site for the construction business that day, according to sources. Grosso owned the company with his grandson, Michael Kau.

Kusznikow is the son of Stafford Township Council President Robert Kusznikow.

Kusznikow had four DUI arrests on his driving record prior to the accident, the state's Motor Vehicles Commission told Patch last September, including three between April 2004 and April 2007. He also was charged with driving drunk on a moped in January 2002, when he was 15, and received an $82 ticket, Michael Horan, the MVC spokesman, said last year.

However, Kusznikow's driving privileges were not suspended at the time of the incident, Horan said.

Assistant Prosecutor Steven Cucci told Patch in October that the 2002 arrest was handled under a different statute because Kusznikow was operating a moped. And the 2004 arrest was for driving having consumed liquor underage, which falls under yet another statute.

As a result, he said, neither was handled under New Jersey’s main drunk driving law, which provides for a 10-year suspension of driving privileges for three DUI convictions within three years.

Kusznikow was arrested on Dec. 15 on charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto while intoxicated. He remains in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River, in lieu of $150,000 bail, no 10 percent option and is banned from contact with the victim's family.

Dee September 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM
This is a very sad example of people "beating the system" until someone is killed. If Mr. Kusznikow would have been duly penalized with a 10-year suspension of driving privileges for any of his FOUR prior arrests for the same crime, Mr. Grosso would not have been killed by Mr. Kusznikow in that incident. According to the NJ MVC definition of DUI, "In New Jersey, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater who operates a motor vehicle or a boat is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI)." It doesn't say anything about the age of the driver. If you're old enough to be legally operating a vehicle (or boat) then ALL the laws need to apply, otherwise, what is the point of having the laws in the first place? Picking and choosing who is and isn't accountable to the law is a dangerous (and deadly, as in this incident) game, isn't it. Shame on those (you know who you are) who bend the law to accommodate criminals instead of upholding the law to protect the innocent.

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