They called him “King Roc Don,” as kind, considerate and caring as anyone they knew.
That’s why shock instantly gave way to grief as word spread Sunday that Rocco Donatiello -- the 29-year-old owner of Manhattan Bagels shops in River Vale and Fairfield -- had been killed just before dawn in a crash with a Jeep that was headed the wrong way on Route 80 in Woodland Park.
Donatiello, who knew many of his patrons by name, “had such a bright future that was taken from him in the blink of an eye,” friend Tim Hartmann wrote.
He “knew how to make a room bright and welcomed everyone with that big smile,” added Anthony Campisi.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral Mass for Donatiello is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Fairfield, with entombment to follow at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union. Visiting hours are from 3-8 p.m. at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home in Fairfield.
Donatiello, who lives in Fairfield, was headed to work when a Jeep Grand Cherokee slammed head-on into his Honda CRV on eastbound Route 80 just after 4:30 a.m., Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said.
New Jersey State Police on Monday identified the other driver as 63-year-old Jose Reyes of Paterson, who remained in serious condition at St. Joseph's Medical Center.
New Jersey State Police were investigating, assisted by Valdes’s office.
The prosecutor asked that anyone who might have seen something or has information about the incident contact her office on its tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or email@example.com .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.