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Twin Who Lost His Leg Trying To Stop North Jersey Brother From Drunk Driving Dies, 19

Joe Dattoli
Joe Dattoli Photo Credit: GoFundMe photos

A 19-year-old North Jersey man who lost his leg trying to stop his brother from drunk driving has died, his obituary says.

West Caldwell's Joseph N. Dattoli -- "a protector by nature" -- died on Oct. 19.

Joe lost his leg after authorities said his drunk twin brother, Anthony Dattoli, drove into a tree with him on the hood of the car on June 27, according to a GoFundMe launched by the Dattolis' sister.

The crash occurred at the corner of Central Avenue and Taylor Drive, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and West Caldwell Police Chief Dennis A. Capriglione Jr. said in a joint statement.

Joe and a third sibling were apparently trying to stop Anthony from drunk driving, NJ Advance Media reports.

Anthony later surrendered with his lawyer in connection with the hit-and-run crash.

He was charged with aggravated assault, vehicular aggravated assault while intoxicated in a school zone, leaving the scene of an accident and endangering an injured victim. Anthony also was issued summonses for reckless driving, careless driving, DWI and other motor vehicle offenses.

"This has truly been the hardest time of all of my families lives, and it’s still a struggle everyday, especially for Joe," Emma Dattoli wrote on the GoFundMe.

Joe was unable to speak but was coherent as of Aug. 4, Emma said. He was also determined to turn around, she said. More than $129,000 had been raised on the campaign as of Oct. 25.

The crash happened shortly after the twins graduated from James Caldwell High School. Joe was planning on attending Kean University as a business management major.

Visitation will be held at the Codey Funeral Home on Roseland Avenue Tuesday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m, and 7 to 9 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Aloysius Church on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell on Oct. 27, at 10:30 a.m. Entombment will follow at Gate of Heaven in East Hanover. 

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