Charges Expected in UMass Dartmouth Pedestrian Fatality
A funeral service is planned for Sunday for a young New Jersey man who was struck and killed by a motor vehicle while walking at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus on Thursday, April 6.
Campus police said the incident occurred on Ring Road in front of the Balsam Dormitory, where the man, a UMass student, lived on campus.
Frank Anthony Petillo, Jr., 19, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, a first-year student, was a Biomedical Engineering major at the University's College of Engineering.
His Dignity Memorial obituary says, "Frankie immersed himself in campus life."
Petillo worked at the Claire T. Carney Library, was chair of professional development for the Student Alumni Association, joined the lacrosse team, performed with the UMass Dartmouth Theater Company, and volunteered in the College of Engineering's tutoring program.
Frankie was a 2022 graduate of Southeastern Regional High School in Manahawkin. He "began performing in theater productions when he was six years old," according to the obituary.
He belonged to several community theater groups in Manahawkin and studied tap, jazz, ballet, and voice. He performed in plays and musicals, sang, and lettered in track.
Some 500 people attended a candlelight vigil for Petillo, including his parents and about 20 members of the Petillo family.
CBS News Boston reported UMass Dartmouth Police expect to file charges against the operator of the vehicle, also a UMass Dartmouth student, whose name has not yet been released.
Following Petillo's death, UMass officials announced improvements to pedestrian safety on campus.
Alexandra Landry, a UMass Dartmouth grad student from Louisiana, committed suicide just days before Petillo's death. Friends and family also participated in the recent candlelight vigil.