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Saddle Brook Man Convicted In GSP Road Rage Death Of Passenger

Thomas J. Vanderweit
Thomas J. Vanderweit Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
John C. Emili
John C. Emili Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia
The aftermath
The aftermath Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo by Mary Elizabeth Grubbs
Thomas Vanderweit, defense attorney Paul Faugno, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney
Thomas Vanderweit, defense attorney Paul Faugno, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Thomas J. Vanderweit
Thomas J. Vanderweit Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- Jurors in Hackensack on Thursday afternoon convicted a Saddle Brook man of vehicular homicide for a road rage crash with a Rockland resident that killed a Teaneck passenger on the Garden State Parkway in Washington Township three years ago.

Thomas J. Vanderweit wore the same non-committal expression he had through most of the trial.

Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti revoked his bail and remanded Vanderweit to the Bergen County Jail pending sentencing on Dec. 18.

He and John C. Emili -- a power weight-lifter and former Clarkstown North High School football player from New City -- were charged in July 1, 2012 crash near Exit 168 on the Parkway that killed Emili's 63-year-old passenger, Annetta Billingy.

Vanderweit's conviction clears the way for Emili's trial.

Prosecutors said the Sunday morning incident between the men began near the Route 17 exit.

Several witnesses told police both vehicles were being operated erratically, “making numerous lane changes, tailgating and travelling in excess of the posted speed limit,” State Police said at the time.

Emili had been tailgating Vanderweit’s 2007 Chevy Trail Blazer with his 2004 Honda Pilot when he tried passing him on an exit lane and lost control of the vehicle, an NJSP trooper told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

The SUV careened off the road, hit a guardrail and then hurtled back onto the Parkway, where it overturned and rammed into the side of the Blazer, which left the roadway itself and smashed a guardrail.

Billingy, an unrestrained rear passenger in Emili’s Honda, was ejected,.

A North Star Medi-Vac helicopter landed at the exit ramp and took the woman to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead,

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