Longtime Collingswood Couple was Planning Wedding Before Oaklyn Crash


After a six-car accident on the White Horse Pike Friday night, Mike Niessen is in a medically induced coma, fighting for his life. His fiancee, Danielle Allen, was killed. The couple were parenting five children.

By Matt Skoufalos | March 12, 2017

Mike Niessen and Danielle Allen. Credit: Carol Niessen DePietropolo.

A Collingswood couple who were victims of a violent car accident Friday had been in the midst of planning their wedding when their vehicle was struck, family members said.

Carol Niessen DePietropolo of Pennsauken said her brother, Mike Niessen, and his fiancee, Danielle Allen, 39, had just left a family member’s home in Audubon with a wedding cake topper when they were involved in a head-on collision on the White Horse Pike.

Allen was killed in the crash, according to her brother Keith, and DePietropolo said Niessen is in a medically induced coma, fighting for his life.

Today is his 42nd birthday.

“At this moment we’re not clear on his chances,” DePietropolo said.

“His blood pressure is not stable. He has internal bleeding, nine fractures in both of his legs. He’s on a respirator.”

DePietropolo said that the driver of the car that hit the couple is in the trauma ICU, along with another juvenile, female passenger who is in critical condition. Another passenger in that woman’s vehicle, a white Kia SUV, was the second fatality in the crash. Neither authorities nor family members have identified them, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Niessen and Allen have been together for 11 years, each with children from previous marriages. Niessen has three sons, Paul, 23; Michael, III, 20; and Casey, 18. Allen has a daughter, Amber, 20, and a son, Giovanni, 15.

“Blood couldn’t have made them any thicker,” DePietropolo said. “The families had been close for many years before they got together.

“Paper wasn’t important to them, but they were both very excited to be getting married in April,” she said.

Mike Niessen and Danielle Allen. Credit: Carol Niessen DePietropolo.

DePietropolo described her brother as “a gentle giant” whose stern appearance doesn’t square with his terrific sense of humor.

Always the life of the party, Niessen is “a craftsman” whose passion for auto repair never faded even as his career as a mechanic was cut short nine years ago by a disability.

“You could give him supplies and he could build you anything,” DePietropolo said.

“Whether it was welding, repairs, home work, he was a craftsman.”

According to her brother, Keith, Allen was a 1996 graduate of Collingswood High School and a hairstylist at Great Clips Hair Cut Salon in the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center.

Keith Allen described his sister as having “a very happy and bubbly personality.

“[She was] always the life of the party, and a great role model,” he said.

The couple loved fishing and spending weekends at their shore home in Dennisville, where Niessen was an ace at the barbecue grill, and they passed the evenings playing cards, DePietropolo said. She asked that friends and well-wishers keep the family in their thoughts.

“He’s fighting,” DePietropolo said of her brother. “He has a lot to live for.”

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Oaklyn police are being assisted by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Crash Investigation Team. Witnesses can call Oaklyn Det. Dru Genther at 856-854-0049, x6028.

Stick with NJ Pen for updates.

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