Teen Celebrating School's Football Victory Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver: 'She Made Others Smile'

Jacqueline Zangrilli "was an incredible daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend”

Jacqueline Zangrilli
Photo: gofundme

A 16-year-old girl was killed in Rockland County, New York in an alleged drunk driving crash.

Jacqueline Zangrilli was a passenger in a car of five occupants who police believe were out celebrating after Suffern High School's football team won their last game of the season on Friday, CBS New York reports.

Just before 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, the Ramapo Police Department responded to a report of a car crash, the agency said in a press release. When they arrived, the officers found the car flipped onto its side. The vehicle had also hit a utility pole.

The driver and three other passengers, all of whom were under 18, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at local hospitals, the police said.

Tragically, Zangrilli was declared deceased at the scene.

"Jacqueline was special in so many ways. She was an incredible daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend," a friend to the family wrote on her GoFundMe page created to help with funeral costs. "Jacqueline was full of life. Anyone that met Jacqueline, loved her. She made others smile in an instant and was quick to bring on laughter in a room."

"Jacqueline loved school and was very involved in sports. She played basketball and field hockey, excelling in both. Jacqueline leaves behind her loving family, her close friends and her former teammates."

The Ramapo PD said in the press release that a "preliminary investigation revealed that the 17-year-old male driver from Suffern, NY was intoxicated."

After he was treated at a local hospital, he was arrested and charged with Manslaughter in the second degree, Assault in the second degree, Vehicular Assault in the first degree, Vehicular Manslaughter in the second degree, and DWI.

After a virtual arraignment on Saturday, the teen, who has not been identified as he is a juvenile, was released and expected to return to court on Monday, the press release stated.

An investigation conducted by the Ramapo Police Department and Rockland County District Attorney's Office is ongoing. Neither agency immediately responded to PEOPLE's request to comment.

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On Monday, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, according to CBS New York.

Anyone who knowingly provided alcohol to the underage students could also face prosecution, the outlet reported.

The Suffern High School Superintendent Lisa Weber released a statement on Monday revealing that "Clinicians are available to help our students and staff process their feelings and understand what has happened."

"Parents and students are encouraged to reach out to their school counselor, teacher and/or building principal if they would benefit from speaking with someone," the statement continued.

"We will get through this the same way we have gotten through other challenges and tragedies; supporting each other, together, as one. I am grateful to be part of a community that pulls together in times of crisis," Weber wrote. "We are humbled and strengthened by the support of our neighbors and fellow residents."

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