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Authorities: Mechanic Tried Patching Jeep's Damage After Hit-Run Crash Killed Teacher

Ibn Collins is charged in connection with the death of Meghan Crilly, a 35-year-old school teacher from Fanwood.
Ibn Collins is charged in connection with the death of Meghan Crilly, a 35-year-old school teacher from Fanwood. Photo Credit: Union County Prosecutor/GOFUNDME

A 39-year-old mechanic from Linden struck a schoolteacher with his Jeep, killing her, and then drove to his auto body shop to patch up the damage, said authorities who tracked down and arrested him.

Ibn Collins had been out drinking when his speeding Jeep Grand Cherokee struck 35-year-old Meghan Crilly of Fanwood at the intersection of North Wood and St. George avenues just before 2 a.m. Jan. 20, authorities said.

Collins didn't slow down or stop, Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Linden Police Chief David Hart said in a joint release Wednesday.

Instead, they said, he drove straight to his job at a Westfield auto body shop, where he repaired his car "in an attempt to conceal his responsibility for the crime," the release says.

Crilly, a second-grade teacher at Beechwood Elementary School in Mountainside, suffered multiple serious injuries and was pronounced dead at a local hospital 11 days later.

More than $59,100 had been raised for Crilly on a GoFundMe as of Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s abundantly clear from the outpouring of support the victim’s family has received that Meghan was an extraordinarily beloved daughter, sister, friend, and teacher,” said Monahan, the prosecutor.

“While this arrest doesn’t bring her back, we believe it is a first step toward securing the justice Meghan and her loved ones deserve,” he said.

Collins was arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon and charged with aggravated manslaughter, death by auto while driving intoxicated within 1,000 feet of a school, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence.

He was taken to Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing, both scheduled for Monday.

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