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Nickolas Procaccino, 20 -- Car Accident

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A 20-year-old Princeton man was killed early this morning in a drunk driving accident in Jersey City, when a friend lost control of his car and slammed into a New York City garbage truck, police said.

Nicholas Procaccino was killed almost instantly just before 4 a.m. at Paterson Plank Road and Congress Street, officials said.

Michael Abernathy, Procaccino’s friend, was driving Procaccino’s 1996 Nissan Maxima north on Paterson Plank when the car veered into the opposite lane and into an oncoming truck at 3:42 a.m., said Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Mike D’Andrea.

Abernathy, 23, of Plainsboro, admitted to police he had been drinking after cops detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, D’Andrea said, adding that he was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated and death by auto, reports said.

It could not be learned if he is still in the hospital.

The passenger side of the Nissan hit the right bumper of the garbage truck and the smaller car became wedged in between the truck and the wall of a nearby building, police said, pinning both Procaccino and Abernathy inside the car.

By the time rescue workers arrived on the scene, Procaccino had died of massive head wounds, said D’Andrea. Abernathy told police he did not remember how the accident happened, reports said.

Police are awaiting the results of blood tests for both Abernathy and Procaccino, D’Andrea.

Both the garbage truck and the mangled Nissan were impounded by Jersey City police and are awaiting examination by the State Police, officials said.



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