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Mayor releases statement after 17-year-old Hackettstown High School student killed in crash

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – Hackettstown Mayor Jerry DiMaio has released a statement after a Hackettstown High School student was killed in a tragic crash early Saturday morning in Washington Township, Morris County.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write about the loss of one of Hackettstown’s own beloved children. Early Saturday morning, Isabella Todaro, who was a senior at Hackettstown High School, was killed in a tragic car crash,” the statement sent to WRNJ began. The rest of the statement continues below.

“My thoughts, prayers, and sincere condolences are with the family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.

Isabella was a wonderful, happy, and friendly young woman who loved her family and friends.  I was fortunate enough to have been able to meet Isabella on numerous occasions, along with her twin brother Louis.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a beloved child in any manner, and when a tragedy occurs such as this, we, as neighbors, have a wonderful opportunity to help out in such a time of need.

Whenever I speak publicly about Hackettstown, I always state that Hackettstown is a caring community where neighbors support and help each other in times of need. Now I am going to implore the Hackettstown community to make my words more factual by donating to the GoFundMe page that was set up for the family if you possibly can. The GoFundMe page was set up by friends for Isabella’s family to help offset the tremendous cost’s that they will be incurring.”

The GoFundMe has set a goal of $50,000 and as of Sunday afternoon, it has raised more than $43,000. If you would like to donate, click here.

The GoFundMe organizer wrote, “Isabella was in her senior year at Hackettstown High School, with a bright future ahead of her. She was a hard worker and loved spending time with friends, family and had a special bond with twin brother Louis. We will always remember her bright blue eyes and contagious laugh. She will me greatly missed by all who knew her.”

The single-vehicle crash happened on Oct.7, at around 2:25 a.m., on Flocktown Road near Nestlingwood Drive in Washington Township, Morris County, police said.

The vehicle struck a utility pole causing significant damage. Todaro was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The investigation is ongoing and no additional details will be released. We extend our deepest condolences to the driver’s family,” police said.

Superintendent of Hackettstown Public School District Debra Grigoletti said Saturday in a community letter, “In the early morning hours today, the District was heartbroken to learn that one of our high school students was lost as a result of a car accident. The District joins our community in grief and sorrow over this tragic event, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to the student’s family. The District’s crisis team will be available to support impacted students and staff members affected by this loss. As always, our counselors, administrators and the mental health professionals provided by our partners at Effective School Solutions will remain accessible to the entire student body and staff.”

The high school will be opened during the following times to offer support services to any
community member in need:

  • Sunday, Oct. 8, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., enter through the main entrance.
  • Monday, Oct. 9, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., enter through the New Gym entrance

“We ask parents to notify us directly if their child is having difficulties. Please keep in mind that any traumatic event can trigger an emotional reaction, even to an unrelated event (family illness, prior losses, etc.),” Grigoletti said.

Anyone that would like to seek services outside of the school setting you may also reach out to Don Gebhard, who serves as both a pastor within our Hackettstown community and a chaplain at Hackettstown Medical Center is available for support. He can be contacted at 862-309-3670.

“Once the District reopens on Tuesday, we will continue to provide support and provide whatever assistance we can to impacted staff and students,” Grigoletti said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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