NJ man accused of driving drunk with twin on hood; sibling loses leg

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. — An 18-year-old New Jersey man lost his leg after authorities said his twin brother, who was allegedly driving drunk, drove into a tree while his sibling was on the hood of the vehicle, authorities said.

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Joseph Dattoli, of West Caldwell, was critically injured in the June 27 incident, reported. His brother, Anthony Dattoli, also of West Caldwell, was charged with aggravated assault, vehicular aggravated assault while intoxicated in a school zone, leaving the scene of an accident and endangering an injured victim, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

Anthony Dattoli was briefly held at the Essex County Jail but has been released, his attorney, Anthony J. Iacullo, told

Authorities said Joseph Dattoli was on the hood of the vehicle when his brother hit a tree at around 1:23 a.m. EDT, the Essex Daily Voice reported. The brothers were leaving a party, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Anthony Dattoli surrendered with his attorney on Monday, reported.

Anthony Dattoli “was intoxicated and drove with his twin brother on the hood of his vehicle, ultimately crashing into a tree and leaving his brother with life-altering injuries,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and West Caldwell Police Chief Dennis A. Capriglione Jr. said in a joint statement.

Joseph Dattoli had surgery to amputate one of his legs, according to a page established by the twins’ sister, Emma Dattoli. He will need 10 surgeries, Emma Dattoli wrote.

Iacullo issued a statement on Tuesday, reported.

“Anthony and his family are thankful for his release today and preparations have already begun for his defense to the allegations,” Iaculllo wrote in an email to the website. “The entire family has suffered greatly as a result of this accident. They would also like to thank every person who has offered their support to the family during these most trying times.”

Emma Dattoli wrote on the GoFundMe page that Joseph “is the strongest boy I have ever gotten graced with meeting.”

“Joe is only 18 years old, and he has so much life yet to live, so many places to see, and so much more to experience,” Emma Dattoli wrote. “It is not his time to get taken due to impaired driving.”

As of Wednesday evening, the page had raised more than $125,000.