South Brunswick Woman Receives Probation for Hit and Run at SBHS

Shivangi Patel sentenced to one year probation for hit and run at South Brunswick High School that sent a 14-year-old student to the hospital.

A South Brunswick woman charged last year following a hit and run at South Brunswick High School was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty last month.

Shivangi Patel, 20, of Monmouth Junction, pleaded guilty to one count of endangering an injured victim, and also pleaded guilty to a motor vehicle offense of failure to yield to a pedestrian, according to court records.

Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Joseph Paone sentenced Patel on Jan. 24 to serve probation for one year. Patel will also lose her driver's license for three months, must serve 15 days of community service, and was ordered by the judge to "stay in school," according to court records.

Patel, a student at Rutgers University, At about 7:25 a.m., police said Patel struck a 14-year-old SBHS student in the crosswalk in front of the school, shortly after the victim had been dropped off by her father.

The victim was knocked onto the hood of Patel's Nissan Altima and hit the windshield of the car, smashing a large hole in the glass, according to police. The victim suffered a severe concussion and a fractured clavicle. She was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where she was treated and released.

"The preliminary results of the investigation indicate Ms. Patel was traveling at more than twice the posted speed limit when she struck the victim," said South Brunswick Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan last year.

Police said that after the collision, Patel fled the scene and headed towards First Avenue. Patel then allegedly had her father drive her back to SBHS, where she arrived shortly before 8 a.m. and conducted her classroom observations until about 11 a.m., according to police.

Patel had been charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries, endangering the welfare of an injured victim, and numerous additional motor vehicle violations. 

Patel's father,  of fourth-degree hindering apprehension by attempting to conceal the vehicle and the driver from police. Rajesh Patel was also issued a summons for failure to report an accident and for concealing evidence. 

Just me February 14, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Sounds like she got off pretty lightly! Doesn't set a very good example.
I am RIGHT February 14, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Slap on the wrist. Loses license for 3 months?????? How about 3 years!!!!!!!!!!!
AM1968 February 14, 2013 at 05:52 PM
that's it?!?!? def got off lightly! nothing like only getting your license taken away for 3 months after sending the student to the hospital; should have been longer! Very poor example!
Ray February 14, 2013 at 06:57 PM
The original reports stated the student was seriously injured. The defendant then fled the scene , and the father aided in her deception . The defendant then returned to the school as if nothing happened . WOW !!! . I guess running over a person isn't that serious.
Deb February 14, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Everyone makes mistakes, but...to leave the scene of an accident and an adult figure teaching her to cover it up and ignore the law. They both got off way to easily! I swear people go to jail over lesser things. It's just not right!!!!
Dan February 14, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Wow... Hope the father gets at least same. If nothing else her opportunity to be a teacher is - and should be - shot to hell.
Dan February 14, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Ray - yes the girl that was hit had a concussion and broken collarbone, so certainly serious injuries.
Just me February 14, 2013 at 08:00 PM
The victim's family will no doubt file a civil suit for damages. If these two criminals are getting off so easily on the criminal piece, they deserve to pay for the civil piece. Crazy world.
Charlie Valan February 14, 2013 at 08:19 PM
You want to know what's wrong with this country............ Here you go!!!! The fact that she hit and ran was over the top............. The fact that she and her father hid the facts and she returned to the school to sit in on a class!!!!! I'm sorry, but I want to know if the victim didn't live, would that have changed the sentence? Because that's a heck of a price to pay. I respect the legal system, but I'd love to understand at what stage in the game does someone actually pay for their crimes........... I'd love to understand the breakdown of the decision on such a ruling. Because if the Judge is "obligated" by the system, then the system needs to be re-examined..........
Crazy World February 15, 2013 at 04:41 AM
I understand that people make mistakes. We all are not perfect - but this sounded pretty deliberate to me. What kind of justice is this? You can speed, maul someone down with your car, leave the scene of the accident, hide your damaged vehicle and then have your parent drive you back to your destination like nothing happened. I hope that this slap on the wrist is not going to be the norm.
naomi February 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Drivers licenses have been suspended longer for unpaid tickets..Wow! What a ruling! Especially after a cover up. It's like the judge didn't take any of that into consideration. I'm sure the family is outraged, I know I would be!
Concerned SB Citizen February 15, 2013 at 01:20 PM
All comments sounds like Racist comments! What if caucasian person did this. Get a life people and let, judiciary system do its job!
sbvikings February 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Again Concerned SB is in another world ! Everyone else is right on .... There was no message sent here... License should have been suspended for at least 2 years with some jail time. It was assault with a dangerous weapon and then what followed, Wow. And just for the record Concerned SB, if she was white, we all would be saying the same thing !
Win Some February 15, 2013 at 02:46 PM
"Concerned SB Citizen" - BTW, would you say the same thing if the victim was non-white? Also, dont you find it shocking that father/daughter would come back to school as if nothing happened? And you just throw out the "R" word without any thought - do you even now bad real racism is ?
Stitch_design February 15, 2013 at 03:00 PM
It was a accident when she hit her and sure she panicked and left the scene, but to go on with a cover up also involving another person that is more mature than her is a disgrace. The race card needs to be left in the draw in this case. She just got a tap on the wrist.
Matt V February 15, 2013 at 05:46 PM
The race card, are you kidding me. The town use to be a nice melting pot of many cultures and faiths. However it’s like the air India flight landed on Rt 1. The so called new arrivals are horrible. They feel this sense of entitlement and are horrible drivers who do like 30 miles under the speed limit; if I see a Toyota or Honda, esp. the odyssey I try and get away from these people as fast as possible. As for the father helping his daughter to cover up her crime. He should be forced to do jail time to send a very clear message that as a parent you do not have the right to cover up criminal activity. The bigger question is what was this idiot doing while she plowed into this person. My guess would be texting and not paying full attention to the road. The larger issue in SB is parents think it’s wise to get kinds brand new luxury cars with too much power and technology for a first car and very few seem up to the task of driving that car in a safe and responsible way.
Carol Desmond February 15, 2013 at 06:25 PM
WOW, way too lenient for the 4 offenses: 1) plowing over another student 2) not stopping to see if they are OK 3) hidding the evidence 4) returning to school like nothing ever happened!!! WTF. Just too lenient of a sentence, not getting into any race issues here.
Lawrence February 16, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I'm really getting tired of judges handing out lenient sentences. Would-be perpetrators are not deterred if they know that they're just going to get a slap on the wrist. Well, in any event, I hope that this has been a sobering experience for Ms. Patel and her father and may the rest of their lives be focused on helping, not hurting, others.
MtWjFg February 16, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Did anybody ever hear of the word deportation? The family should also be joined by the person who made thw "racism" remark in this forum.
Crazy World February 17, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Its time that someone like Concerned SB Citizen realize he/she cannot hide behind the racist card. When you try to defend the actions of ANYONE who would do what Ms. Patel and her father did in this case, you have very little credibility in this community. It doesn't matter what nationality you are - the punishment does not fit the crime. We should have higher standards than the slap on the wrist that was accessed for this crime. Get serious.......
Tugwalla February 17, 2013 at 05:51 AM
People...the race card is dead...
Inky February 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM
The sentence she received is a disgrace! Hitting someone, seriously injuring an individual, leaving the scene of an accident, COVERING it up with the help of an *adult*, then going about your day as if NOTHING HAPPENED?! Can't fault Ms. Patel completely since her family OBVIOUSLY doesn't know right from wrong, and couldn't TEACH her! What did she and her family learn from this experience? NOTHING! Her sentence indicates that her actions are OK (in her case) and will be tolerated. I wonder what kind of *COMMUNITY* service she is required to do!? I'm ALL for DEPORTATION!!!!!
NJ Resident February 18, 2013 at 06:16 AM
The race card is certainly there. If this was a white person behind the wheel, then it would be the fault of the 14 yr old. It certainly is. Especially in SB and Edison. Welcome to NJ Police.
Cathleen DiBenedetto February 18, 2013 at 02:52 PM
This is not about race....It is about a person who hit someone with a car and then left, went home got her father to drive her back to the place and never even thought twice about what she had done...It doesn't matter what color the people were...What matters is what the person did...
Concerned Citizen February 18, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Any way you look at it, this is a tragedy. The 14 year old girl who was struck by the car suffered a life changing injury. The driver of the car will find it very difficult to get a decent job, as an Internet search of her name will quickly alert prospective employers to her past history. You have to feel badly for both parties, but the right thing for the driver to do would have been stopping at the scene and immediately calling for help, not driving off to hide the car and get her father to bring her back. I wonder what was going through her mind as she sat next to her father as they drove by the accident scene. She must have felt sick inside. It's difficult to destroy someone's life over an accident, but yet what she did is inexcusable. Maybe a short jail sentence and license revocation for 6 months to a year would have taught her a better lesson. Let's hope she learns from this. Maybe some community service to talk about distracted driving would help (although I don't know exactly what happened - for all I know, the girl who was struck by the car could have had an ipod on and just walked out in front of the car).
Cathleen DiBenedetto February 18, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Concerned Citizen I agree with you....


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