Hit-and-run driver accused of striking girl near South Jersey elementary school turns himself in

Paul Criscione is facing several charges including assault by auto, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Hit-and-run driver who struck girl near school turns himself in
The Bellmawr Police Department says the pickup truck driver hit the 9-year-old girl just before the start of school.

BELLMAWR, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The driver accused of hitting a young girl near an elementary school in Bellmawr, Camden County turned himself in Tuesday night.

Paul Criscione, 66, of Egg Harbor City, is facing charges of assault by auto, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, and other related offenses.

Police say Criscione was behind the wheel of his pickup truck when he hit the girl who was crossing the street Monday morning in the area of Ethel M. Burke Elementary School, located at 112 S. Black Horse Pike.

Authorities say the driver immediately fled the scene after the crash.

"It's absolutely awful. How do you leave a child just laying there? It's heartbreaking," said parent Kelly Corgliano.

"They have no feelings. Something is wrong. They're either sick or something is wrong. They're not ok," added grandparent Barbara Russo.

The Bellmawr Police Department says the pickup truck driver hit the 9-year-old girl just before the start of school.

The child was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. She was treated and released.

According to police, the nine-year-old was helping other students cross Walnut Avenue to get to school because that was her job as part of the safety patrol.

As she was making sure others were safe, the man in the truck turned onto Walnut Avenue from the Black Horse Pike and hit her. Then he took off.

"She was safety patrol. She had a bright color on her. You should have seen her. You know you're in a school zone so you should just be careful," said Corgliano.

Bill Cunningham says his son is going to be on the safety patrol next year and says he just wishes he was there when it happened.

"Pretty disgusting human to leave a child sitting in the street. I mean that's horrible. I would have chased him until my tires fell off. They wouldn't have got away," said Cunningham.

Police say Criscione was released pending a future court date.

Anyone with information should contact Bellmawr police at 856-931-2120.