Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone has announced that Yokauri Batista-Alcantara was handed an 11-year prison sentence on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, for her involvement in a fatal wrong-way crash that occurred on Thanksgiving night in 2021.
Prosecutor Ciccone said the tragic incident took place on Thursday, November 25, 2021, around 11:53 p.m.
Authorities responded to a severe crash on the southbound lane of Route 130 near the on-ramp to Route 1 in North Brunswick Township.
The collision involved an Old Bridge Police patrol vehicle and a Honda Accord. Yokauri Batista-Alcantara, 33, of New Brunswick, and two children were found at the scene.
Unfortunately, the children succumbed to injuries, while Batista-Alcantara and the police officers sustained serious injuries.
Prosecutor Ciccone said an investigation by Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office uncovered that Batista-Alcantara was intoxicated and using her cell phone when she drove the wrong way down the on-ramp, crashing into the police vehicle that was transporting an in-custody passenger.
Batista-Alcantara pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree Vehicular Homicide for the children's deaths, three counts of third-degree Assault-by-Auto for the injuries to the police vehicle occupants, and one count of Driving While Intoxicated.
The plea agreement recommended an aggregate sentence of 20 years under the No Early Release Act (NERA).
Honorable Benjamin S. Bucca, Jr., J.S.C., sentenced Batista-Alcantara to a concurrent six-year prison term for the Vehicular Homicide charges, followed by a consecutive five-year prison term for Assault-by-Auto counts, resulting in a total of 11 years in state prison.
The initial six years must be served in compliance with the No Early Release Act. Batista-Alcantara will be eligible for parole after serving 85% of her sentence.
Additionally, she permanently lost her license to practice as a registered nurse. Her driver's license was suspended for five years upon release, and she will be under three years of parole supervision.