NJ Man Was High on Drugs in Crash That Killed High School Teen, Cops Say
LITTLE EGG HARBOR — The driver who killed a Pinelands Regional High School student in a head-on crash January 30 was found to have had at least three drugs in his system, authorities said.
Police say Michael Pillarella lost control of his vehicle, which being driven at 74 mph when he crossed over the double-yellow line in a curve on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor and struck a southbound Toyota XB.
The Toyota was being driven by a teenager. His teenager passenger died a week later.
Lab tests on Pillarella's blood revealed that Pillarella was under the influence of the anxiety medication Alprazolam, methadone, and fentanyl at the time of the crash, severely impairing his ability to drive, Ocean County Prosecutor Brad Billhimer said.
Pillarella was charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, strict liability vehicular homicide, aggravated assault and assault by auto. He has been held at the Ocean County Jail since his arrest.