MOUNT HOLLY – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan announced that a 37-year-old Elizabeth man was charged yesterday with causing the death of his young daughter during a crash on Interstate 295 in Mount Laurel late last year.
Marcelo Rizzo was charged with one count of Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree), two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), and one count of Assault by Auto (Third Degree). Rizzo was not detained following a first appearance today in Superior Court, but was ordered to surrender his driver’s license and firearms.
The case will now be prepared for presentation to a Grand Jury.
Troopers were detailed to I-295 north just after 6 p.m. on November 25, 2018 for a report of a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, they discovered Rizzo’s Ford Focus in the grass beyond the right shoulder. His 9-year-old daughter had been ejected from the vehicle into a wooded area and sustained fatal injuries. Rizzo and an older daughter who was also in the vehicle were not seriously injured.
The investigation, which was conducted by the New Jersey State Police, revealed that Rizzo had consumed multiple drinks at an establishment in Camden County prior to the crash. The investigation further revealed that Rizzo had been weaving through traffic and struck another vehicle before veering off the road.
The criminal charges were filed based on multiple witness accounts, as well as the result of toxicology tests conducted on blood drawn from Rizzo following the incident.
He was taken into custody without incident at his residence yesterday by New Jersey State Troopers. Rizzo is being prosecuted by BCPO Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.