Roseanne Piccirilli, the Yonkers schoolteacher who crashed her car into two young irish immigrants, Kalie and Lindsey Gill as she left a street carnival on Friday last says the Jeep car she was driving malfunctioned.
Kalie was killed and her sister was badly injured in the accident.
"She said the car wouldn't obey when she was putting her foot on the brake," says Father James Healy, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle who spoke with Piccirilli right after the fatal crash. "She said it felt like she was putting her foot on the accelerator,"he told News 12.
Piccailli is a sixth grade teacher in the local school and a popular member of staff. She has offered condolences to the Gill family
Meanwhile the investigation into the tragic accident at the Yonkers church festival on Friday night that claimed the life of 15-year-old Kalie and severely injured her 12-year-old sister Lindsey is ongoing, according to Detective Lieutenant Patrick McCormack, the Public Information Officer for the City of Yonkers Police.
“It’s an open accident investigation at this time,” McCormack told the Irish Voice/Irish Central on Tuesday afternoon.
“We did not charge anyone. The investigation has to progress and that could take weeks. The vehicle involved now needs to be inspected. There is no reason at this time to believe that the driver will be charged with anything criminal.”
McCormack called the case a tragic circumstance, one that was tough for local officers to respond to.
“Our detectives are in contact with the family on a daily basis. We don’t have much yet to release on the causality of the accident. There were a lot of people in the area, it could have been a lot worse.”
It’s understood that a Jeep driven by a sixth grade schoolteacher at St. Paul’s, Roseanne Piccalilli, 55, struck five vehicles, three of which were occupied. She also struck two young pedestrians, fatally injured Kalie Gill and critically injured Lindsey Gill. Piccalilli’s car is now being inspected thoroughly.
“We don’t feel there was any medical condition that precipitated it at this time,” McCormack said. “We didn’t file charges. I can’t tell you what the results of any tests were, but if we didn’t file any charges then that suggests there was nothing there. We would categorize it right now as an open accident investigation.”
A portrait of how the runaway vehicle killed Kalie and severely injured Lindsey is emerging. Sources have told the Irish Voice that previous allegations that the driver may have had a heart attack have been dismissed. Neither have drugs or alcohol reportedly been found in her system.
One source said the schoolteacher’s foot could have got caught on the pedal of her car’s accelerator. “She hit a couple of cars before she hit the two kids on the sidewalk. But even then her car didn’t stop. From there she took out a couple of parking meters before coming to a stop,” a source told the Voice.
Piccirilli is well known in the Irish community. Underlining how close to the community the tragedy was, the Gill family’s relatives in the popular local Irish store the Butcher’s Fancy in Yonkers are taking up collections. Nearby the Rambling House is also accepting donations.