⚖️ Manahawkin resident sentenced in relation to car crash that killed teenager

⚖️ He was driving near a speed of 80-mph in a residential area at the time of the crash

⚖️ Two Little Egg Harbor teenagers were injured, one later passed away


A Manahawkin man who was found to be doing approximately 80-mph at the time of a crash in Little Egg Harbor that later claimed the life of a teenager, has been sentenced to 17-years in prison.

The teen who passed away following the crash had a birthday coming up.

In addition to have been found speeding in the January 30, 2021 crash, a blood test showed that Michael Pillarella, 28, was under the influence of a combination of Alprazolam, Methadone, Fentanyl, and alcohol at the time he struck the other vehicle, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

Ocean County Courthouse (Google Maps)
Ocean County Courthouse (Google Maps)
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Little Egg Harbor Police and the OCPO Vehicular Homicide Unit learned that Pillarella was heading north along Radio Road near Baltusrol Court around 9:45 pm when he lost control of a 2017 Hyundai Elantra and crossed the centerline while trying to head through a curve in the road.

He then struck a 2006 Toyota XB injuring two female juveniles who were later brought to Jersey Shore University Medical Center after suffering serious injuries.

Pillarella was brought to AlantiCare Regional Medical Trauma Center in Atlantic City for his injuries but later signed himself out against medical advice after a warrant for his blood was obtained, according to Prosecutor Billhimer.

Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels
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As the investigation continued along and the blood tests came in, Pillarella was charged and later was found guilty of Manslaughter and two counts of Assault by Auto which has led to concurrent sentences of 17 and 4 years, respectively.

He had also been charged with two counts Aggravated Assault.

Pillarella must serve 85-percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Prosecutor Billhimer said that Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara tried this case on behalf of the State.

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