Melfa man sentenced to almost two years in crash that killed two Northampton students


A Melfa man was sentenced to almost two years in prison in the vehicular deaths of two Northampton County students who riding in the back seat of a car he hit on U.S. Route 13 last year.

Joseph Castiglia, 23, of Melfa, was sentenced to five years on each of two counts of involuntary manslaughter, with all but one year, five months suspended on each, to run concurrently.

He also was sentenced to 12 months with all but six months suspended for reckless driving, for a total active sentence of one year, 11 months.

Castiglia also had his driver’s license revoked indefinitely. 

Castiglia hit a car Jan. 28, 2022, waiting for a stopped school bus, killing Dajerilyz “Daje” Ortiz-Lebron, 15, and Nadyanaliz “Nany” Ortiz, 12.

The last words Nayda Ortiz ever heard spoken by either of her two daughters who died were, “It’s going to hit us,” she testified earlier this year. 

Deon Rogers, a bus driver,  testified he had stopped around 7:20 a.m. on Route 13 just south of Bayford Road, near Weirwood, to pick up students from a mobile home park.

Rogers said in his driver’s side mirror he saw a white pickup truck approaching at a steady speed, and it appeared the truck was not going to stop.

The white pickup, a Ford F-250, struck a Toyota car in which the two victims were back-seat passengers. 

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