Victim Of July 6 Townsend Accident Plans Civil Suit

The lone survivor of a July 6 accident near Townsend announced she will file a civil lawsuit against the driver of a truck that collided with her family’s minivan that caused an accident that killed her husband and four daughters.

On Friday, July 27 during a press conference at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in Saddlebrook, New Jersey near her hometown of Teaneck, 53-year-old Mary Rose Ballocanag and her attorneys, Diana Lucianna and Frank Carbonetti, announced they were planning to sue Alvin S. Hubbard, Jr., who was driving the Ford F-150 pickup that crossed the median and struck the minivan head on that injured Ballocanag and killed her husband Audie Trinidad and their daughters Kaitlyn, Danna, Allison and Melissa. They will also seek damages against Hubbard’s employer, Aledak Metalworks of East New Market, Maryland.

The press conference began around 1pm when Ballocanag was wheeled in via a wheelchair with her left leg elevated in a brace and she asked for justice. According to northjersey.com, Ballocanag said “I have to bury my husband and four daughters. I want justice for them and I want to see him criminally prosecuted. All my broken bones and injuries will heal, but not the unbearable pain in my heart”.

Attorney Frank Carbonetti said that their suit against Hubbard and Aledak Metalworks is based on the contention that Hubbard was criminally negligent when he crossed the median and that they will pursue vehicular manslaughter charges. Carbonetti said “You can be criminally negligent in the manner you’re driving”. He added, “I cannot believe at this point, not one charge has been filed”.

Attorney Diana Lucianna said that police interviewed the passenger in the pickup truck who said that Hubbard had started coughing and became unresponsive and this would be a part of their claim. A Delaware State Trooper told the Townsend mayor and council and the audience at the July 11 mayor and council meeting that he had heard that the State Police was investigating a possible medical issue. The investigation is still going on and is expected to take months according to the Delaware State Police and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office. While Audie Trinidad and Mary Rose Ballocanag were wearing seat belts, the daughters were not according to Delaware State Police.

The lawyers also said they are looking into investigating a case against DelDOT, due to a history of accidents on Rt. 1. DelDOT announced shortly after the July 6 accident, that the decision was made prior to the accident to install catch wires along the median along stretches of the highway.

The July 6 accident happened as the Trinidad Family was returning to New Jersey after a vacation in Ocean City, MD and before they left, they sent a photograph of the family enjoying a meal to Audie Trinidad’s brother, Danny Trinidad. After the accident, Ballocanag told her brother-in-law that her husband’s head slumped over on her chest and she looked back and realized that her daughters had died.  A GoFundMe page set up by family friend Linda Douglas had raised over $288,000 as of Monday afternoon, July 30.

Balloconag was cleared to be released from Christiana Hospital on Tuesday, July 24 after six surgeries and complications kept her bedridden. She is now undergoing rehabilitation for about three hours a day to help her move to a wheelchair from her bed. According to her doctor, she suffered five fractures to her arms and legs. Funeral services are still pending as Danny Trinidad said that no funeral services can go on without her. Ballocanag said “When Audie, Kaitlyn, Danna, Melissa and Allison died, part of me died, and I'm dying inside over and over again. Justice will not bring them back. But we will be in a safer place."

Audie Trinidad and his family taken July 4, 2018: credit to the Trinidad Family.  

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