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Police: Hilton teen was speeding before deadly crash that killed friend

GREECE, NY (WROC) - Police say speed appears to have been a factor in the deadly Latta Road crash that killed a Hilton teen in June.

Wednesday, 18-year-old Brianna Scarpulla was charged with manslaughter and assault in the case.

In June, investigators said Brianna Scarpulla was behind the wheel when she lost control, went over the center-line and hit another vehicle head-on on Latta Road.

Paige Smith, a passenger in Scarpulla's vehicle, was killed in the crash.

Scarpulla suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision; she was treated at a hospital and later released. The driver of the other vehicle was also injured -- which is why Scarpulla is charged with assault.

Speaking Wednesday, police said they believe Scarpulla was going more than 70 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone.

Chief Patrick Phelan, who was unable to thoroughly discuss the accusations against Scarpulla, said alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in the case. However, the chief says there were other actions that played a part in the collision.

"We are alleging that there were actions that were taken, above and beyond the speeding, that caused her actions to be reckless," said Chief Phelan. "Beyond that, I'm not going to get that specific into the facts of the case."

"There were other things going on the car that caused her actions to be reckless, in our assessment," the chief later reaffirmed.

Classmates told News 8 that both Smith and Scarpulla were cheerleaders in Hilton and best friends.

Scarpulla turned herself into police Wednesday afternoon. She was arraigned on the charges and released on bail. She could face five to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

On Latta Road, a memorial remains for Paige Smith.

In a statement, the Hilton Central School District said: “This is a tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families involved.”


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