A 31-year old Emergency Medical Technician in the New York Fire Department has been arrested on suspicion of causing the death of Taranjit Kaur Parmar, 18, a dental medicine student, during a fender-bender that turned deadly Nov. 9, in Levittown, N.Y.
The man who allegedly snuffed out the promising Indian-American teen’s life was identified by police Dec. 24, as Daniel Coppolo of Deer Park, N.Y.
Coppolo is accused of second degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident,tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment. He is being held on a $1 million bail. His lawyer, Lawrece Carra, told New York Daily News he had yet to see credible evidence that it was Coppolo driving the car that killed Parmar, and would wait to see it before mounting a defense.
Coppolo was in custody for an unrelated crime and when he was let out, the Nassau County police were waiting for him.
Parmar had been driving home in her 2018 Jeep traveling eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown, N.Y., late afternoon Nov. 9, when her vehicle was struck at 4:58 pm, by a red pickup truck. The truck was traveling northbound, attempting to turn eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike in the vicinity of Gardiners Lane, according to an account posted by Nassau County Police Department on its website.
After what appears to have been a “minor collision” according to police, both drivers immediately pulled off the roadway at 3300 Hempstead Turnpike. Parmar sustained injuries to her head and chest and was taken by Nassau County Police Ambulance to an area hospital where she was later pronounced dead by a staff physician.
“Taranjit was one of my favorite students. Always a bright girl, happy, great sense of humor and always ready to help her fellow student. It is a great loss for all,” said a former teacher Krista Erlagen Beasley in a post on the funeral parlor website Nov. 13.
Parmar’s Facebook had several messages from those mourning her untimely death. According to New York Daily News, Parmar was on the phone with her mother when she was run over in the middle of rush-hour traffic.
Parmar’s father, Ranjit Parmar, told Daily News, “She had called my wife and said, ‘Hi, Mom,’”, the father said. “Then she said ‘Oh, no, Stop!’ and the call got disconnected. There was no answer after that.”The initial “minor” accident took place barely ten minutes from home where Parmar was headed.
The young Indian-American was a dental student at Adelphi University, a private higher education institution in Garden City, Long Island, which she joined last year, according to Facebook.
“She bore all the responsibility to carry the family, carry her education. I always told everybody who would listen to me, if you’re going to have a daughter, this is the one,” he said, according to a pix11.com news report.
Residents contacted the Nassau County police more than 50 times with leads during the six weeks leading to Coppolo’s arrest, the Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder is quoted saying on ABC&NYNews.com. “I want to thank the Nassau County Police Department, who worked tirelessly on this investigation to bring it to a point where it is today,” Ranjit Parmar is quoted saying in the same report, adding,”It wouldn’t be where it is if it weren’t for the hard work by all the detectives that worked on this investigation.”