Former Roadrunner Killed in Bicycle Accident

Recent Ramapo graduate and former Roadrunner Andrew Capizzi was hit and killed by a car on Sunday, June 2. He was 24 years old.

Capizzi, who graduated from Ramapo in 2011 with a degree in psychology, was an avid cyclist and runner. He was preparing for the New Jersey Individual Time Trial Championship in Burlington County just before 10 a.m. when he was fatally struck.

Police said Capizzi was riding along the north-bound shoulder of Route 563 in Woodland Township, and when he attempted to make a U-turn, was struck by a Volvo and thrown from his bicycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No charges have been filed yet against the Volvo's driver, who was sent to the hospital after the accident with complaints of neck and back pain. State police say the investigation is ongoing.

Capizzi was an assistant track and field coach at Holy Angels School in Demarest and also worked at Ridgewood Running Company. He also recently received his master's degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College last month.

"He was a great person-smart, funny, dedicated, and very good with people," said professor Donna Crawley, who taught Capizzi in her forensic psychology class and worked with him as part of her research team. "He brought something very special to both the classroom and to me and the other students with whom he worked on research."

Crawley said the project Capizzi worked on with the research team focused on personality and judgments about criminal defendants. The work was "of such high quality" that the study was presented at a national Association for Psychological Science convention 2012, she added.

"Andrew had one of the quickest minds it has been my privilege to teach," Crawley continued. "And yet, he brought more than just a quick mind to our research; he brought his personality and his energy as well."

At Ramapo, Capizzi was a four-year member of the men's cross-country and track and field teams. Capizzi served as captain of the cross-country team and also broke the College's record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Capizzi was also very accomplished as an athlete, even early on. He graduated from Paramus High School in 2007, where he was chosen as a most valuable player. As a Roadrunner, he earned the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) 1st Team All-Conference honors in 2009 and 2010. He was named the cross-country team's rookie of the year in 2007, received the coach's award in 2009, and was considered the team's most valuable runner in 2010.

Additionally, Capizzi was a member of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-country Coaches Assocation's All-Academic Team for maintaining Dean's List status throughout his college academic career.

Capizzi participated in many triathlons, held several local records and won the Paramus 10K in 2011.

"From everything I've heard, he was an amazing human being whose life was tragically too short," said Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera, as quoted in the Record.

Visitation was held on Wednesday, June 5 at the Vander Plaat Memorial Home in Paramus, and the funeral was held on Thursday, June 6 at the Church of the Annunciation in Paramus.

Interment will be at George Washington Memorial Park, also in Paramus.

"Andrew's passing is such a tragedy," Crawley said. "We all lost a very special person."

Capizzi is survived by his parents, David and Lorraine, his brother Joshua, grandmothers Betty Atanas and Frances Capizzi, and his many aunts, uncles and cousins.