Edison Man Charged Months After Crash That Killed 93-Year-Old

EDISON, NJ—Authorities announced on October 24 that young man from Edison has been charged with vehicular homicide in a motor vehicle crash that killed 93-year-old Luis Figueroa, also of Edison.

Joseph Petrillo, age 20, was "traveling north at a high rate of speed on Route 27 near the Peterson Avenue intersection in Edison and was unable to stop before striking the victim’s vehicle," according to a statement from the Middlesex County Proseuctor's Office (MCPO).

According to the statement, Figueroa was attempting to make a left turn off of Route 27 when his 1995 BMW sedan was struck by Petrillo's 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck on July 25.

"The victim was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead."

However, it took police more nearly three months to publicize the charges.   And it's the second time this year the MCPO has brought charges against a driver for a fatal crash on Route 27.

In July, authorities announced a "death by auto" charge against a Pennsylvania man who was driving a rental truck during an April 5 crash about eight blocks south from the more recent crash.

However, the same prosecutor's office has not yet announced any such charges in a crash that killed an 11-year-old boy riding a skateboard in the parking lot of an apartment complex, also in Edison.

While the MCPO release stated that "bail was set at $35,000 for Petrillo," the Middlesex County Jail's records department said he had not been admitted to the facility.

The official statement credited an investigation by Detective Michael Felcetto of the Edison Police Department and Detective Erik Larsen of the MCPO.

Still, authorities say the investigation is "active and… continuing."  Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Felcetto at (732) 248-7400, or Detective Larsen at (732) 745-3263.

Editor at New Brunswick Today | 732-993-9697 | editor@newbrunswicktoday.com

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.