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A fun frozen yogurt trip turned horrific for two New Jersey teen girls, one now dead and the other in critical condition, following a car crash on January 30, a report said.
Gianna Palmieri, 16, and her friend Kaitlyn Edwards — who was behind the wheel of a 2006 Toyota XB — were returning home from a frozen yogurt trip around 10:00 P.M. in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.
Michael Pillarella, 26, was driving a 2017 Hyundai Elantra when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road, crossed over the centerline and struck an oncoming Toyota with the two teenagers inside, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
The two friends were flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune with life-threatening injuries.
Palmieri died on Tuesday after fighting for her life for more than a week, and just four days before her 17th birthday.
Edwards remains in critical condition.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Billhimer said in a written statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of both of these young women.”
“The driver should have been celebrating her birthday last weekend, instead she was fighting for her life in the hospital” he continued.
“The passenger that passed away this evening should have been celebrating her birthday this upcoming weekend. This is such an unspeakable tragedy.”
Investigators said Pillarella was driving 74 mph at the time of the crash.
According to a GoFundMe campaign for Gianna, the girls attended Pinelands Regional High School and worked at Acme supermarket in Tuckerton.
Pillarella, who suffered minor injuries, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide in violation.
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