NORTH BRUNSWICK – The New Brunswick woman accused of manslaughter and homicide in the Thanksgiving night crash in area of Routes 1 and 130 in which two children were killed and three others injured will remain in Middlesex County Jail, but will be let out for her son's funeral.
Yokauri Batista-Alcantara, 31, broke down in tears several times during a detention hearing Friday before Superior Court Judge Benjamin Bucca.
Bucca, in ordering no release for Batista-Alcantara, said there was "overwhelming evidence of extreme reckless conduct ... that poses a threat and a risk to the community at large."
A blood draw warrant was authorized by Superior Court Judge Robert Jones after the crash, but those results have not been released.
The defendant's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level also was taken when she was treated for her injuries following the crash, and those indicated a BAC level of 0.16.
The blood was taken at 1:21 a.m., almost 90 minutes after the fatal crash. 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.
It also is alleged that she used her cellphone while driving, but forensic examination of this has not been released.
Her family pleaded with the court for her release so they could grieve the death of her son and nephew together.
Batista-Alcantara, a licensed practical nurse, will remain held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick but will be released Dec. 8-13 to grieve and attend the funeral of her only child on Dec. 10.
She has been 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.
According to court documents, at 11:53 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 25, 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 south.
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 their 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, the court document state.
The Accord had three occupants, Batista-Alcantara and two juveniles. The juveniles were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick where they both died, the court document states.
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 state 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 states 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.
The preliminary law enforcement incident report indicates the incident was recorded on a dash camera and a cellphone was recovered from the crash.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information or video footage of the area is asked to call prosecutor's office Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.
Alexander Lewis is an award-winning reporter and photojournalist whose work spans many topics. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Sign up today for a digital subscription.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ mom charged in fatal crash will be released for son's funeral