Man Pleads Guilty to Running Over NY College Student After 2017 Fender Bender

Daniel Coppolo was arrested six weeks after the college student was killed

What to Know

  • Taranjit Parmar, 18, got out of her Jeep to exchange insurance information when the other driver ran her over and left her to die in 2017
  • Daniel Coppolo was arrested about six weeks later; he pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter and other charges
  • His attorney had tried to get him off on an insanity defense, arguing he was bipolar and off his meds, but that didn't meet the threshhold

The 33-year-old man arrested in the hit-and-run crash that killed a New York college student in 2017 pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other crimes Thursday.

Daniel Coppolo, of Deer Park, got into a fender bender with Adelphi University student Taranjit Parmar in Levittown in November that year. Prosecutors say the two pulled into a parking lot, but Coppolo refused to hand over his insurance information. He tried to drive away, but Parmar held onto his pickup. 

She was dragged, then run over by his vehicle and left to die in the street. Parmar was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. She was 18. 

Prosecutors have said Coppolo knew what he had done and may have even tried to cover it up. They say he waxed and detailed his red pickup truck after the hit-and-run. He was arrested about six weeks after Parmar's death

An attorney for Coppolo, who has a record including a DWI, had pursued an insanity defense. They said their client was bipolar and off his medication at the time of the hit-and-run. That attorney, Lawrence Carra, said Thursday that bipolar disorder didn't rise to the level of an insanity defense so his client accepted a plea deal. Carra expressed remorse on behalf of his client, saying, "He wishes he could turn back the hands of time but that's not possible."  

Coppolo, an FDNY dispatcher before his arrest, will be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison in June.

At the time of his arrest, Parmar's family thanked the public for sharing more than 50 Crimestopper tips with police. They were in court Thursday for his guilty plea but offered no comment. 

Photos on the woman's Facebook page indicated she had a zest for life and loved outdoor activities. According to her LinkedIn page, Parmar was studying biology at Adelphi University; she had a 4.0 GPA and had been scheduled to graduate in 2020. 

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