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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. 

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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