Hit-and-run driver fixed Jeep after killing teacher, cops say
LINDEN — A city man ran over a teacher, left her for dead and then fixed the damage to his vehicle in an effort to hide the evidence, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ibn Collins, 39, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the Jan. 20 fatal hit and run that killed 35-year-old Meghan Crilly, a Fanwood resident who taught in Mountainside.
Crilly was struck while crossing North Wood Avenue at the intersection with St. Georges Avenue (Route 27), Acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan said.
Collins, driving a red 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, struck her but did not slow down or stop, investigators said. The force of the impact threw the victim 140 feet.
Crilly’s family took her off life support nearly two weeks later.
Collins has been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, first-degree death by auto while driving while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of a school, second-degree hindering apprehension, and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.
He had been out drinking to celebrate his birthday in the hours before the crash, and was seen on surveillance video at a Kenilworth bar, police said.
Collins hid his Jeep after the accident and ordered replacement parts to repair damage to the vehicle at an auto body shop in Westfield where he worked, police said.
His boss later told police that Collins had said the damage was from hitting a deer.
Collins was taken to Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing, both scheduled for Monday.
Prosecutors have filed a motion to have him detained prior to trial due to the seriousness of the charges and other factors.
Anyone with information about the incident still is urged to contact authorities at 908-403-8271 or 908-451-1873.
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