A man from Vineland has been convicted in connection to an August, 2014, crash on Route 40 in Mays Landing that killed 14-year-old Aisling Cooke and injured three other people.

Nicholas Garreffi - Photo: Hamilton Township Police Department

The Hamilton Township Police Department says 42-year-old Nicholas Garreffi was convicted of second degree vehicular homicide in the death of Aisling Cooke, plus three counts of fourth degree assault by auto for the other people that were injured in the crash. Garreffi was also found guilty of driving under the influence; the State alleged that Garreffi was driving while under the influence of Xanax, causing the death.

Atlantic County First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill said in a statement, "While this conviction will not return Aisling to her family and friends, we are hopeful that it will send a message to those who abuse legal and illegal drugs that if you operate a vehicle while under the influence and cause injury or death to another, you will be convicted and sent to prison as a result of your actions. The jury in this matter made that very clear."

It was on the morning of August 30th, 2014, that a Chevy Silverado being driven by Garreffi crossed the center line on Route 40 in Mays Landing into oncoming traffic, first striking a box truck being driven by 48-year-old Darrel Jacobs of Vineland, then striking a car with five people inside.

The driver of the box truck was uninjured. The driver of the car and two juvenile passengers sustained mild to moderate injuries. The rear-seat driver’s side passenger, a 14-year-old female, was airlifted from the scene and died at a hospital on September 3, 2014.

Garreffi was arrested on in July, 2015. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 22nd.

 

SOURCE: Hamilton Township Police Department press release, 8/8/17