New York City Fire Department employee arrested for hit-and-run death of college student

Posted at 11:51 AM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 11:51:46-05

LEVITTOWN, Long Island — An arrest has been made in the death of an 18-year-old girl, who was allegedly killed when she went to exchange information with a driver following a fender bender, according to WPIX.

Daniel Coppolo of Deer Park, 31, has been arrested in connection to the death of Taranjit Parmar.

The two got into a minor fender bender on the Hempstead Turnpike on Nov. 11 just before 5 p.m.  When Parmar exited her vehicle to exchange information with Coppolo, he allegedly struck her with his red pickup truck, dragging her 25 to 50 feet, and drove away.

Parmar was a dental student at Adelphi University who "bore all the responsibility to carry the family and carry her education," her father said.

Parmar's father thanked the police department for their nonstop work in looking for the person involved in his daughter's death. "It wouldn't be where it is if it weren't for the hard work by all the detectives that worked on this investigation."

Coppolo's attorney, Lawrence Carra, extended their condolences to the family for the loss of their child and issued a statement regarding his client.

“My client plead not guilty to all four charges. We did not receive enough evidence to prove that my client was, in fact, responsible for this incident,” Carra told PIX11 News.

Coppolo was a member of the New York City Fire Department and was placed on a 3-month disability leave from the department during the time of the crash, his attorney said. He also told PIX11 Coppolo had no prior felonies and had one prior DUI, which was a misdemeanor.

Following the hit-and-run, Coppolo allegedly drove to a Target store and tried to steal a lantern and assaulted a security guard, according to court records. He was arrested for the attempted robbery last month and was later released Saturday on a $2,500 bail his father posted.

After he was released, detectives immediately arrested Coppolo for the hit-and-run, according to the court arraignment.

Coppolo has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident with, tampering with physical evidence, and second-degree reckless endangerment. He faces 1 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2, 2018.