New Jersey

Driver Faces Drugged Driving Charges in Crash That Killed Teacher, Daughter

The New Jersey man arrested in the crash that killed a popular science teacher and his 5-year-old daughter Monday afternoon has been accused of driving under the influence of drugs, with prosecutors saying in court Wednesday he took 10 Adderall pills in 24 hours before the crash. 

Scott Hahn, 36, was charged with driving under the influence in the crash that killed Tim O'Donnell and his daughter Bridget on the New Jersey Turnpike Extension Monday afternoon in Jersey City.

Hahn was being arraigned on the charge, as well as two counts each of manslaughter and vehicular homicide, Wednesday afternoon. He was arrested on the manslaughter and vehicular homicide counts Tuesday afternoon by the New Jersey State Police. 

Hahn was driving between 50 and 70 mph in his 1998 Mercedes-Benz when he rear-ended O'Donnell's car near the toll booths of the westbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike Extension at exit 14C, prosecutors said.

The impact sent O'Donnell's car through the tolls and into the eastbound lanes, where it was hit by another vehicle, a health care van owned by the company Care Point. 

O'Donnell, a science teacher at County Prep High School, was pronounced dead on the scene. His daughter was taken to the hospital, where police said she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses said Hahn had emerged from Holland Tunnel swerving, crossing lanes and sideswiping a barrier, according to prosecutors.  

Prosecutors also said that Hahn admitted to police to having taken 10 Adderall pills and that his urine tested positive for amphetamine. 

Hahn, a server at a Cracker Barrel restaurant near his home in Hamilton, was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to state police. He said nothing in court during arraignment. 

O'Donnell's wife, Pam O'Donnell is mourning the blow, just two years after she beat cancer.

"I'm struggling with how I survived cancer to have my life ripped apart from me," she told NBC 4 New York Tuesday. "My best friend and my daughter (are gone)."

Funeral services for the father and daughter are set for Saturday.

Hahn and the driver of the Care Point van were also taken to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries after the crash Monday. 

Hahn has had his license suspended 28 times early in his driving years, according to motor vehicle records, mostly for administrative reasons but also four times for speeding and twice for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. His record has been clear the past 9 years.

Prosecutors also said Wednesday he's been arrested in the past, though he does not have criminal convictions. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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