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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Wrong-Way Route 80 Paterson Driver Who Killed Bergen Bagel Shop Owner ID'd

New Jersey State Police were investigating. Photo Credit: COURTESY: NJ State Police
Rocco Donatiello Photo Credit: Christopher Selvan (GoogleMaps) / INSET: Facebook

The driver who was headed the wrong way on Route 80 when his Jeep crashed into a popular River Vale bagel store owner's car before dawn Sunday, killing him, was identified by New Jersey State Police on Monday as a 63-year-old Paterson man.

Jose Reyes remained in serious condition at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center while NJSP investigators try to determine why he was headed the wrong way on the highway at 4:30 a.m. when his Jeep slammed into a car driven by Rocco Donatiello, 29, in Woodland Park, State Trooper Alejandro Goez told Daily Voice.

Donatiello, of Fairfield, went by the nickname “King Roc Don.” Those who knew him described him as kind, considerate and caring.

He knew many of his patrons by name and “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.

Donatiello, of Fairfield, was headed to work when Reyes's 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.

Authorities asked that anyone who might have seen something or has information about the incident contact the Passaic County prosecutor's tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org .

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