NJ Woman Lost Her Whole Family — Why Hasn’t Driver Been Charged?
TEANECK — The woman who lost her husband and four daughters in a horrific crash on Route 1 in Delaware plans to file a lawsuit against the driver of a work pickup that crossed the highway median and struck their SUV.
Lawyers for Mary Rose Trinidad Ballocanag, who returned this week to New Jersey to continue her recovery from the July 6 crash, held a news conference with her lawyers at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in Saddle Brook on Friday to announce the suit against driver Alvin S. Hubbard III and his employer, Aledak Metalworks, of New Market, Maryland.
The family is also upset and frustrated that no charges have been filed.
"As a criminal defense attorney, I cannot believe at this point almost a month that not one charge has not been filed, not even a motor vehicle charge has been filed. To us this is very upsetting," attorney Frank Carbonetti said.
Ballocanag wore a hospital gown. Her left wrist was wrapped in bandages. She dabbed her eyes during the conference.
"She has a broken left arm with infections. Both knees are fractured with surgery. She has fractured ribs, fractured shoulders and a fractured right hip," attorney Diane Lucianna said.
Ballocanag broke into tears as she talked about the pain of losing her family.
"Physical pain is nothing. It's the pain of what's inside that is unbearable."
The 53-year-old nurse was the only family member to survive the crash on Route 1 in Townsend, Delaware, that claimed the lives of her 61-year-old husband, Audie, and daughters Kaitlyn, 20; Danna, 17; and 13-year-old twins Melissa and Allison.
Delaware State Police, who have not disclosed further information about the case pending an investigation, said Hubbard, of East New Market, Maryland, lost control of his pick-up truck on the southbound side of the road, drove across the grassy median into the northbound lanes, hit another vehicle and then hit the Trinidad family's SUV, pushing it into a ditch.
Lucianna said that police told her that the passenger in the truck said Hubbard was "unresponsive" and said he didn't feel well before the crash and had been coughing. They were returning from a welding job, according to Lucianna.
"He was brought from the scene to the hospital, treated and released so it could not have been too serious an issue," Lucianna said.
She said that she thinks Delaware prosecutors want to bring the "the highest criminal charges they can against (Hubbard) but it's just taking time." The accident report has not yet been prepared, Lucianna said.
A funeral has not yet been held as the family wants Ballocanag to be able to participate in the planning of the funeral and to be able to attend.
Ballocanag said her goal is to get better "and seek justice for my family."
Delaware State Police have not returned a message.