Dog whisperer is victim of hit-run

An accomplished equestrian, Tiffany Jantelle died helping an injured animal on the road in Franklin. Photo via Facebook

Tiffany Jantelle got out of her car to rescue a dog. Then she was killed. ”Two sentences on a Facebook page, along with the title “Who Killed Tiffany Jantelle?” are the sum and substance of the 23-year-old, who lived her entire life in Piscataway. Tiffany loved horses and was an accomplished rider. She was popular and bubbly – a caring friend and sister, daughter and girlfriend. So when her boyfriend accidentally struck a dog about 1 a.m. on Weston Canal Road and Randolph Road in Franklin, Tiffany stepped out of the car to comfort the injured animal. Her boyfriend, Daniel P. Owsik of Raritan, got out of the car to try and direct traffic as Tiffany held the German Shepherd-mix in the middle of the road. That’s when a black pickup truck sped onto the scene, striking Tiffany and the dog, according to witnesses and police. “She tried to get out of the way,” Oswik later told a television news reporter. “Of course she can’t leave the dog. She grabs the dog and no use, the guy didn’t break, didn’t swerve. He just hit.”

The driver, later identified as 39-year-old Brian McCauslin, pulled over, got out of the truck and saw Tiffany lying in the road.

McCauslin asked why they were in the middle of the road.

He then got back into his truck and fled the scene – driving threes hours to his home in Pennsylvania.

Brian McCauslin in a police booking photo.

Tiffany died later at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick. The dog, who was also injured in the accident, had to be euthanized.

McCauslin was arrested four days later.

With so much time passing between the accident and McCauslin’s arrest, authorities were unable to prove that McCauslin was drunk or impaired. Although the suspect, who had at least one drunken driving arrest, did admit he was drinking on the night of the accident.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, McCauslin pleaded guilty to careless driving. He wasn’t charged with manslaughter because prosecutors could not prove he was drunk at the time of the crash.

He was sentenced to the maximum seven years in prison.

According to news reports, McCauslin may be eligible for parole before the end of 2012 due to time served.

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