Jennifer Sahoye, 35, of Rahway, is now the first person charged with homicide in Essex County in connection with a texting-while-driving incident.
Prosecutors say Sahoye was driving in the express lanes of Route 1 & 9 in Newark on October 10 when she crossed into the local lanes and hit a pickup truck driven by 58-year-old Carlos Carvalho.
The impact caused Carvalho's truck to overturn, and the Elizabeth man was ejected and suffered fatal injuries.
Authorities say they have proof that Sahoye, who was also driving with a suspended license, was texting at the time of the crash.
Family members said Carvahlo was a father of three who had been married for 36 years and worked as a welder. His son told Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan that his dad would do anything for his family.
Sahoye was originally charged with causing death while driving with a suspended license, but the charges were upgraded after it became clear she was using her phone.
She being released from the Essex County jail on $50,000 bond and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.