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Little Egg Harbor Man Charged in Death of 13-Year-Old Pedestrian

Timothy Hettinger was drunk when he hit Emilee LaFerriere, say prosecutors

A Little Egg Harbor man has been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Emilee LaFerriere, the 13-year-old girl struck and killed while walking with a friend in Little Egg on Easter Sunday, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutors say Timothy Hettinger, 47, was drunk when he hit LaFerriere shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday on Radio Road near the intersection of Basswood Lake Road in the Mystic Island section of the township.

According to a story on APP.com Monday, LaFerriere was walking in the residential area with another 13-year-old girl when she was struck. Rescuers were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at approximately 10:30 p.m., prosecutors said in a press release issued today.

Based on field sobriety tests and the observations of officers at the scene, police determined Hettinger was over the legal limit, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said in the release.

"This appears to be yet another tragic death caused by the toxic combination of alcohol and motor vehicle operation," said Ford. "Emilee’s life has been senselessly taken, a family has been shattered, and everyone in the community has suffered a painful loss."

Prosecutors are asking residents with any information on the accident to contact Det. Craig Ally of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, 732-929-2027, or Sgt. Scott Nino of the Little Egg Harbor Police Department, 609-296-3666.

paul m April 27, 2011 at 01:06 AM
he should be charged with mansaughter. The murderer showed no remorse and asked for his lawyer like he only hit a deer. it's not like he didn't know drinking could impair his driving. It's not like he didn't know he could seriously injure someone, or like in this case, kill someone while driving drunk. It's like sayoing "I didn't know I could kill someone while pulling the trigger of a loaded gun to someone's head. He's a murderer. but, he'll probably get a slap on the wrist and only be charged with involuntary manslaughter. the only good thing is that he'll probably lose his licence for a period of time, but, he'll still be a free man while the little girls parents will be sentanced to a lifetime of grieving for a senseless crime that didn't have to happen....
joanne April 27, 2011 at 03:07 PM
When are people going to learn! Drinking and driving, texting and driving, whatever it doesn't mix with driving. PAY ATTENTION!
joanne April 27, 2011 at 03:27 PM
I wouldn't have my 13 year old daughter walking the street at 10:00 PM either.
Jim April 27, 2011 at 06:34 PM
The toughest price to pay for poor parenting. Why allow a 13 yr old to walk the streets in a rainstorm at 10pm. They will second guess themselves for their entire life. Bad parenting, a lack of supervision and a drunk caused this. RIP lil girl. What a damn shame.
Tina April 27, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Lets put blame where it belongs to the driver! It is No suprise that people should not drink and drive we used to hear that all the time...that is what killed this sweet girl not her walking in the rain or walking at night...you obviously didn't know her so don't leave comments! A daughter,friend, sister was lost..I'm sure you walked around in the rain as a kid.who didn't? I had the pleasure of knowing her and she was a sweet girl and there are not many good hearted people left in this world.this guy is a murderer and needs to be locked away forever...
Kelly April 29, 2011 at 04:44 AM
At 10 I didnt walk in the rain, in fact I had the street light rule for a long time. Parents are to blame, as much as the drive. Growing up in todays age, people are brought up to believe one drink is okay to drive..but legally, its not. Just as we do not know the victim, you do not know the person behind the wheel or the situation they were actually in. It is a tragic loss and something someone has to live with for the rest of their lives..
paddler April 29, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Shame on you for putting any blame on the parents or the girl. Basswood Lake Road and Radio Drive intersect at a park in a residential neighborhood. Whether she was coming home from the park or singing in the rain with her best friend, neither she or her parents did anything wrong. The responsibility lies with the person behind the wheel - inebriated or not.
Barbara Hassan April 29, 2011 at 08:27 PM
God Bless this child,her family,friends and everyone who has been effected by this tragic accident.And yes it was an accident.This man who hit her will also have to live with this everyday of his life and so will his family.As for the people placing blame on this girls mother,shame on you....
Dominique May 01, 2011 at 08:46 AM
Let's put it this way, if I'm a parent, I will be so worried why my kids are not home yet at that late nite?!Yes, they can be with their friends but at that age,still...we parents still responsible to our dear children.Yes,the man behind the wheel,is the major cause...Not that only the senario in here, I live in the area and every morning I take my kids to the bus stop, and we see this guy speeding along twinlakes boulevard and doesn't care about slowindg down at all.We call the Cop several times,but their is no action has been done.One time the cop came and check and drive for a quick drive around, as soon as he left,here comes this man behind the wheel same thing happen.I said to myself,till something really happen,that's the time they will do something.Every morning and everytime I take my kids to the bus stop, I get so nervous about the speeders,there are alots of kids on the road walking and waiting for the bus.Regarding the family of Emilee, our deepest condolences.I'm really sorry, of your lost,let's just pray that justice will prevail.
Art Mooney May 03, 2011 at 10:52 AM
Why to kids have to walk in the street, where are the sidewalks ?
Jim May 15, 2011 at 07:49 PM
LEHT will certainly be sued for not having them when the family files a tort
karianne May 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM
i think tht none of youd were there , so all of you need to shhh . like forrel . she was a good friend of mine, and like seriously no she shouldnt be walking that time of night, but shit happens, and bad parenting? her mom loved her ok, and another thing like her mom wasnt a bad mom actually , so dont be judgin people by there cover ,thanks .
Drivingtoofar May 23, 2011 at 03:14 PM
I don't think it is the girls fault...she could easily be walking home from doing homework with a classmate...It is all the drivers fault...Butm karianne...I am not sure anyone will know what you are trying to say. That is horrible english/posting.
kayjay mccloskey June 01, 2011 at 04:09 PM
and it happened in mystic islands , and no there is no side walks. why? i have no idea. there is the street than the side of the rode,... they should get side walks though. but mystic is trash.. i have lived there. and some of the people are jus disrespectful and care about themselves only. but i say lets all fight for side walks in Mystic Island NJ!
Capt. Kirk June 01, 2011 at 06:04 PM
blaming the little girl is a thoughtless statement. the man who used to clean the litter thrown out of cars on rt 9 was killed in a very easy to see intersection on rt 9. no doubt the driver was speeding as well as being on a cell phone. peter coppola spent every day out there to do his part for lacey. the last person i would blame would be him.
courtney September 13, 2011 at 04:50 PM
people dont kno what they are talking about, we didnt have school the next day it was a three day weekend so its normal to be out a little late and she was a block away from her friends house, dont say shit about parenting when emilees mother is a great mom.

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