‘DWI’ crash kills three generations of Perth Amboy family in packed car
Three generations of a Perth Amboy family were killed in what police said was a drunk-driving crash involving two cars this weekend in upstate New York.
The two women who died in the Sunday morning crash were 32-year-old Mayelin Brito-Castro and 47-year-old Ondina Castro De La Cruz, according to the Sheriff's Office in Wyoming County, New York. The women were ejected from the SUV after it was struck by a pick-up truck whose driver is now facing criminal charges.
The women were pronounced dead at the scene. A 4-year-old child suffered head injuries and died at a hospital.
Several Dominican Republic-based newspapers have reported that the victims were a mother, her 4-year-old daughter and the girl's grandmother.
Nine relatives were riding in a Kia Sedona, which seats up to seven passengers, when the SUV was struck by a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck driven by 20-year-old Richard Sawicki, of Lackawanna, New York, Sheriff Gregory Rudolph said.
"It is clear not everyone was wearing a seat belt and we have not found any child seats or booster seats at the scene or in the vehicle," Rudolph said.
Sawicki has not posted bail or bond and remains in jail after being charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected, according to the Sheriff's office.
The other adults involved in the crash, 55-year-old Reyes Rodriguez and 26-year-old Maria Brito-Castro, were treated for injuries. Rodriguez was released from the hospital and the surviving woman could potentially be released today, Rudolph said.
The four other children riding in the SUV ‚ two 4-year-olds, a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old — remain hospitalized Tuesday.
Among those reacting to the crash on social media, Gov. Phil Murphy offered condolences.
"Tammy and I are praying for the victims of this weekend’s car crash involving a Perth Amboy family traveling to Niagara Falls. Such a senseless tragedy."
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