May isn’t even here, and already a mind-numbing road tragedy has claimed two young lives — and nearly a third — from North Jersey. The trio’s 2006 Honda Civic was speeding, police said, when it careened off a Maryland highway, killing the driver, Jarrett Gallipoli, of Hillsdale, and backseat passenger Anthony Picinic, of Cliffside Park, as the 20-year-old pals were returning from a visit to West Virginia University.
Picinic, who was asleep at the time, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, police emphasized.
Gallipoli’s girlfriend, Christina Marie Izquierdo, also 20 of Hillsdale, was belted into the front passenger seat and survived the crash with no major injuries — even though the car slid thorugh the center median and struck a guard rail, then went airborne and rolled over several times down an embankment near the Pennsylvania border, a Maryland State Police spokesman said.
“Miss Izquierdo unbuckled herself and crawled out of the vehicle and [an EMT team] then rendered medical assistance and comfort that probably kept her from going into shock and minimized her injuries,” he said. “Her seat belt and her side curtain air bags [are] what saved her.”
All three were considering enrolling at WVU.
Anthony and Jarrett will both be buried Friday. Anthony’s funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Epiphany Church, 247 Knox Avenue, Cliffside Park. Visiting is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at A. K. Macagna Funeral Home, 495 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park. Jarrett’s Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Pascack Bible Church, 181 Piermont Road in Hilldale, with visiting from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood. Jarrett will be buried in George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus and Anthony in Fairview Cemetery in Fairview.
Gallipolli, a bass player in a local band, met Picinic when both attended St. Joseph’s High School in Montvale. He later went to Pascack Valley and Picinic to Cliffside Park High School.
“Jarret was always calm, collected, quick with a comeback and cool. He always wanted to try something new and lived everyday to the fullest,” wrote Greg Jon Giordano, who created a Facebook memorial for the pair. “He was always up for anything and he was a great friend who you could have a deep conversation with one minute, and party with the next.”
The blue-eyed Picinic, Giordano said, “was the most naturally funny, boisterous person many of us will ever know.
“There are people who you can tell immediately if you are at the same party with because they ‘own the room’ …. Well with pic if you were in the same zip code you knew he was there. He had a way of bringing everyone in a room together talking and then easily making them laugh.”
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