New Brunswick mom charged in Thanksgiving 2021 crash that killed two kids set for trial




  • In US
  • 2022-11-28 10:15:03Z
  • By Home News Tribune | My Central Jersey

The New Brunswick woman accused of manslaughter and homicide in the Thanksgiving night 2021 wrong-way crash in area of Routes 1 and 130 in North Brunswick in which two boys were killed and three others injured will go on trial next year.

Yokauri Batista-Alcantara, 32, the driver and mother of one of the boys, is scheduled for trial in January before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Benjamin Bucca, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. Batista-Alcantara is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick.

She was initially charged with two counts of aggravated manslaughter, a first-degree crime; two counts of vehicular homicide, a second-degree crime; two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a second-degree crime; two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault by auto, fourth-degree crimes.

The children killed were 9-year-old cousins.

Batista-Alcantara's blood alcohol concentration level was taken when she was treated for her injuries following the crash, and those indicated a BAC level of 0.16, according to court papers.

The blood was taken at 1:21 a.m., almost 90 minutes after the fatal crash, court papers say. In New Jersey, a person is guilty of drunken driving if they operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater.

Yokauri Batista-Alcantara at a detention hearing in December 2021.
Yokauri Batista-Alcantara at a detention hearing in December 2021.  

According to court papers, at 11:53 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 25, 2021, Old Bridge police officers, identified by the initials of M.W. and J.P., were on duty driving a marked police vehicle and transporting an in-custody passenger on the ramp to Route 130 southbound.

At the same time, North Brunswick police received a 911 call reporting a car traveling in the wrong direction on Route 130.

The caller said he honked and flashed his lights at Batista-Alcantara, but the speed of her vehicle only increased before the crash.

North Brunswick police were then alerted to a crash involving the Old Bridge police vehicle.

When officers arrived on the scene, they located a two-vehicle crash involving the Old Bridge police Chevrolet Tahoe and a Honda Accord with both vehicles sustaining heavy front-end damage consistent with a head-on crash, according to court papers.

The Accord had three occupants, Batista-Alcantara and two boys. The boys were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick where they both died, court papers say.

The two officers and their passenger also were taken to the hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, Batista-Alcantara "did recklessly cause the death of juveniles under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, specifically by operating a vehicle occupied by juveniles in the wrong direction of a one-way overpass while operating under the influence of alcohol and crashing into a vehicle operating in the correct direction."

Court papers say Batista-Alcantara committed vehicular homicide by operating a vehicle recklessly and causing the deaths of the juveniles in that same manner, and by taking responsibility for the care of the children, caused them bodily harm by driving in the wrong direction while under the influence of alcohol and striking another vehicle.

The criminal complaint also says Batista-Alcantara committed aggravated assault by causing serious bodily injury to the Old Bridge officer identified as J.P. by driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, traveling in the wrong direction, striking another vehicle and causing bodily injury to the other officer identified as M.W.

She also is accused of committing aggravated assault by causing significant bodily injury to the in-custody passenger in the police vehicle.

Email: srussell@gannettnj.com

Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ mom charged in Thanksgiving crash that killed kids set for trial

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