One of the drivers in a 2012 accident that ended in the death of an elderly passenger, Annetta Billingy, has just been sentenced to six years in prison. Reports from the Bergen County Prosecutors’ Office reveal that the driver, 30 year old Thomas J. Vanderbilt of Saddle Brook, will need to pay the funeral expenses for the victim, and serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence, or just over 5 years in prison.
Vanderbilt was found guilty in early November of vehicular homicide by a Bergen County Jury. The crash evolved from a road rage incident during a tailgating chase with John Emili, 20 of New York City. Both vehicles tailgated each other while changing lanes and speeding, which ended when Vanderbilt slammed on the brakes and a chain reaction crash piled up.
This ‘brake checking’ resulted in final accident according to local authorities. Neither of the drivers was injured, but Annetta Billingy, grandmother of John Emili had been sitting in the backseat of the car and was ejected from the vehicle. She died from the collision. Billingy had been on her way to church, driven by her grandson Emili. Emili’s girlfriend was also a passenger of the vehicle.
The accident occurred near Exit 168 in Washington Township New Jersey after the road rage stretched across the Garden State Parkway. John Emili, the other driver involved, is being tried separately for his role in the accident and the death of his grandmother. Very little information has been released about his girlfriend who was also a passenger in the vehicle during the crash.
If you are ever in an accident and have been charged with any kind of moving violation- especially if someone has been injured or killed, you need a good defense attorney to oversee your case and work with you through the process. For a road rage charge or other moving violation, you need to know what your options are before proceeding.
I have specialized experience in defending drivers who have been charged with reckless driving, speeding, improper passing and tailgating. To avoid hefty fines or prison sentencing, be sure to get the best representation available. I can be reached for a free phone consultation about my work in East Brunswick and the surrounding area, and how I can put that experience to work for you. Give me, David C. Barry, a call at 732-238-8686 today to learn more.