Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that an Elizabeth man pled guilty today in Superior Court to driving while impaired and causing the death of his daughter during a crash on Interstate 295 in Mount Laurel late last year.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Marcelo Rizzo, 38, will face 10 years in New Jersey state prison when sentenced on October 25. He pled guilty before the Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, A.J.S.C., to one count of Vehicular Homicide (Second Degree), one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), and Driving While Intoxicated.
On November 25, 2018, State Troopers were detailed to I-295 north just after 6 p.m. 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 a younger daughter who was also in the vehicle were not seriously injured.
The investigation revealed that Rizzo had been weaving through traffic and struck another vehicle before veering off the road. Further investigation revealed that Rizzo had consumed multiple alcoholic drinks at an establishment in Camden County prior to the crash. Toxicology tests conducted on blood drawn from Rizzo following the crash indicated his blood alcohol level was 0.16.
Rizzo, who was criminally charged in January, is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit. The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police.