Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 30, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department responded to the area of Radio Road and Baltusrol Court for a report of a two-vehicle crash with serious injuries. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department revealed that a 2017 Hyundai Elantra operated by Michael Pillarella, 26, of Manahawkin, was traveling northbound on Radio Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, crossed over the centerline, and struck an oncoming 2006 Toyota XB travelling southbound on Radio Road. The Toyota XB was operated by a juvenile, and there was also a juvenile passenger in the vehicle. As a result of the crash, both juveniles sustained serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where they remain listed in critical condition.
Pillarella was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Atlantic City for treatment of his injuries from the crash. A search warrant was obtained for a draw of Pillarella’s blood, and laboratory results remain pending. Pillarella was treated and released from the hospital, and has been issued motor vehicle summonses for Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, and Failure to Maintain Lane in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88.
“This matter remains under investigation, and additional charges may be forthcoming,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined assistance in connection with this investigation.
The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.