Suffern teen pleads guilty to driving drunk, killing classmate in car crash

A 17-year-old teen from Suffern pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing his classmate in a car crash earlier this year.

News 12 Staff

Nov 24, 2021, 1:57 AM

Updated 943 days ago

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A 17-year-old teen from Suffern pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing his classmate in a car crash earlier this year.  
Joseph Debellis admitted he was driving drunk and had smoked marijuana the morning he crashed his Jaguar into a utility pole on Route 202 in Montebello. 
He and three other teens who were passengers suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, but 16-year-old Jacqueline Zangrilli died at the scene.
Debellis was driving nearly twice the speed limit when he crashed, according to prosecutors.
The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to 12 of the 17 charges he was facing, including aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and reckless driving.
Debellis is scheduled to be sentenced to up to six months in state prison and serve five years of probation on March 1, 2022.


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