Stafford, NJ Man Gets Prison Time for Crash That Killed Teenager
The Stafford, New Jersey man responsible for a car accident that killed one teenage girl and injured another will spend a significant amount of time behind bars for the crime.
Just before 10 p.m. on the night of January 30, 2021, Michael Pillarella had been driving almost double the speed limit on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor, high on alcohol, methamphetamine, and Fentanyl, when he hit another vehicle head-on, Ocean County Prosecutor's Office reports.
The crash took the life of Gianna Palmieri, 15, and seriously injured Kaitlyn Edwards, 17. Both girls were students at Pinelands High School at the time.
On March 3rd, Pillarella, now 28, was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Palmieri, as well as assault by auto.
This week, a judge sentenced Pillarella to 17 years in prison for killing Palmieri, and an additional four years for injuring Edwards.
Gianna Palmieri's parents and Kaitlyn Edwards appeared at Pillarella's sentencing where they gave emotional victim impact statements.
According to Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, Pillarella is now in New Jersey State Prison where he'll need to serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
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