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Accident Claims Life of Recent Grad

Middletown police are uncertain of the cause of the fatality on Chapel Hill Road.

A fatal accident in the early morning hours has claimed the life of a Middletown teen who had just graduated from high school.

Daniel M. Piano, 18, of Leonardo, was traveling north on Chapel Hill Road at about 4:10 a.m. when his car “for an undetermined reason, veered off the road and struck a tree.” said Lt. John Maguire, head of the Middletown Township Police Traffic Bureau. “He sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The weather conditions were good, visibility was clear and there were no sudden curves in that stretch of roadway. He was traveling a straightaway path.”

Piano was driving a 2010 Toyota Scion. Maguire said that, as far as police can tell at this point, “excessive does not appear to be a factor at this time. There is no indication of drugs or alcohol being a factor at this point, either.”

Whether Piano was under the influence at time of crash will, however, be determined through toxicological testing, he added.

Middletown police were assisted by township E.M.S. and Monoc Paramedics at the scene of the accident.

The crash is being investigated by Cpl. Cliff O’Hara, Ptl. Darrin Simon and SFC Fred Deickmann of the Middletown Township Police Department's Traffic Bureau.

Anyone who witnessed the fatality or has further information is asked to contact the Traffic Bureau at 732-615-2045.

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