Ibn Collins mugshot

Union County Prosecutor's Office

Alleged Hit-And-Run Driver Arrested 2 Months After Teacher Is Fatally Struck

March 20, 2019 - 3:55 pm

LINDEN, N.J. (WCBS 880) — The driver who allegedly hit and killed an elementary school teacher in Union County has been arrested after two months of searching.

Meghan Crilly, 35, was the type of teacher every student loved. She was positive, excited and known for pushing her elementary school kids to be the best students they could be.

But the upbeat teacher’s life was cut short on Jan. 20 in an early morning hit-and-run crash.

According to the GoFundMe page, Crilly was struck by a Jeep traveling south on North Wood Avenue, near St. Georges Avenue, as she was crossing the street with some friends.

The driver never got out of the car to offer help and instead fled the scene, sparking a two-month search. 

Union County Prosecutor Michael Monahan says the driver, 39-year-old Ibn Collins, had been drinking at a bar to celebrate his birthday the night of the crash, ran a red light and struck Crilly with enough force for her "to be propelled approximately 140 feet."

Crilly was put on life support in a coma for nearly two weeks before her family realized recovery was never going to be an option. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital 11 days later.

Monahan says after Collins fled the scene, he went to an auto body shop in Westfield where he worked, told his boss he hit a deer and made the repairs to his vehicle to destroy the evidence. 

However, detectives we able to trace the damaged bumper from his Jeep. Monahan says investigators ended up at an auto parts facility in Camden County "and they searched manually through a pile of auto parts to find that bumper."

That damaged bumper was the missing piece of the puzzle that investigators needed to link the fatal hit-and-run to Collins.

He is charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, first-degree death by auto while driving while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of a school, second-degree hindering apprehension and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.