By Robin Rieger
WASHINGTON Twp., N.J. (CBS) — Washington township high school students, in a show of unity and support, walked out of class and around the school’s track Monday morning to remember 18-year-old Nicole Kellenyi, a senior, killed in a car crash Saturday night.
“I just feel Nicky when we were walking, it was kind of a happy day”, said childhood friends Aainna Davy. She and Jamie Radetich joined other students, many in Kellenyi’s favorite color, purple, around her parking space to leave mementos or messages.
“We grew up in Renfield development so we put the Renfield girls and all of our initials and we just said we loved her,” said Radetich.
Kellenyi was the back seat passenger in 18-year-old senior Alex Giantonnio’s Saturn. 18-year-old Taylor Petner was the front seat passenger. As Giantonnio tried to make a left turn from Altair Drive onto Pitman Downer Road, the Saturn was hit by a pickup truck, trapping Kellenyi and ejecting Petner into the street.
“The only thing she remembers is lights coming and screaming watch out,” said Steve Petner.
That his daughter survived and her friend did not brings him and Taylor’s siblings at the crash scene Monday, to tears. His daughter is in serious but stable condition.
“The orbital area is fractured. They’re just still monitoring swelling of the brain and a blood clot,” he said
Students are thinking of Petner and Diantonnio too.
“Alex needs to know it wasn’t her fault. I don’t believe Alex was on the phone, I don’t believe that they were drinking,” said Jessica Separation, friend to all three seniors in the car.
Some blame the intersection, but blood test results on the drivers are pending and cell phone records will be sought
“These days that’s part of any investigation, more and more. We can’t rule it our as part of the investigation”, said Washington Township Police Lieutenant Dennis Sims.
Eyewitness news has learned a man who tried to help those at the crash scene, found a cell phone in the road. He was able to dial “dad” in the contacts and reach Alex Giantonnio’s father and tell him about the accident.
Police say that doesn’t prove Alex was using her cell phone while driving.
At this point, police have nothing to indicate distracted driving. Their investigation continues. Road measurements at the scene will be taken Wednesday as police try to reconstruct the accident.