Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vineland Man Arrested and Charged with Vehicular Homicide in the Death of Aisling Cooke

HAMILTON TWP – A Vineland man was charged yesterday with vehicular homicide in connection with the death last year of a 14-year-old female, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
Yesterday afternoon, July 20, 2015, Nicholas Garreffi, 40, of the 300 block of Brookfield Street, Vineland, NJ, was arrested at the Hamilton Township Police Department by detectives from Hamilton Township and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Collision Unit and charged with vehicular homicide—a 2nd degree crime—in connection with the August 30, 2014 death of Aisling Cooke, 14, of Linwood.

Hamilton Township police responded on August 30, 2014, at 8:42 a.m., to Route 40 milepost 43.7 for a motor vehicle accident involving three vehicles. The investigation determined that a 2008 Chevy Silverado driven by Garreffi crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, first striking a 2007 Mitsubishi box truck driven by Darrel Jacobs, 48, of Vineland, then striking a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta containing five occupants.
The driver of the Mitsubishi truck was uninjured. The driver of the Volkswagen, Madelyn Williscroft, 18, of Linwood, and two juvenile passengers sustained mild to moderate injuries, and were transported by ambulance to the Atlantic City Medical Center—City Division, for treatment. The rear-seat driver’s side passenger, Aisling Cooke, was airlifted by Southstar helicopter to ACMC-City Division with critical injuries. She was pronounced dead at the hospital on September 3rd.
The State alleges that Garreffi operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, causing the death.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio set bail at $50,000 cash or bond. Garreffi posted bail subsequent to his arrest, and was released, pending court.
A 2nd degree crime carries a potential penalty of 5-10 years of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison.
Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey represents the State in the matter.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged
defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


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