NORTH BRUNSWICK - A 31-year-old New Brunswick woman has been charged with the fatal Thanksgiving night crash on Routes 1 and 130 in which two 9-year-old cousins were killed and three others were injured.
Yokauri Batista-Alcantara was arrested Friday and 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, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and North Brunswick Police Chief Joseph Battaglia announced.
Batista-Alcantara was held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick pending a pretrial detention hearing in Superior Court in New Brunswick.
At 11:53 p.m. Thursday authorities responded to the southbound lane of Route 130 near the on-ramp to Route 1 in North Brunswick following the report of a serious crash involving a marked Old Bridge Police patrol vehicle and a Honda
When police arrived they located Batista-Alcantara and two children at the scene. Batista-Alcantara and the juveniles were transported to a nearby hospital where the children were pronounced dead, according to the prosecutor's office.
Authorities also located two Old Bridge police officers and an in-custody civilian passenger at the scene. The officers and the passenger were transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
A preliminary investigation by Prosecutor's Office Detective Jonathan Berman determined the two police officers were transporting the in-custody passenger to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick when Batista-Alcantara allegedly drove the wrong way down the on-ramp and struck the police vehicle, according to the prosecutor's office.
At this time, reckless driving and alcohol consumption are believed to be contributing
factors, according to the prosecutor's office.
A Franklin Township elementary school student and his cousin have been identified by a school official as the two children killed.
In a letter to parents, Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Albert J. Fico said a fourth grade student, and his cousin, a student in another school district, were killed in the traffic accident.
"Our prayers and deepest sympathy goes out to the families of both children," Fico said in the Monday letter posted on the school's website.
The identities of the two children, the two Old Bridge police officers, and the civilian in the police vehicle have not been released.
Fico said the district student assistance counselors and the guidance staff met with fourth grade students to provide them with support. He also encouraged parents to talk with their children about how they are coping with the loss.
The Office of the Attorney General is investigating because the fatal crash involved on-duty police officers.
The Office of the Attorney General is investigating the conduct of the officers involved in the collision, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the conduct of other parties that may be responsible.
The investigation is and continuing. Anyone with information or video footage of the area is asked to call prosecutor's office Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.
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: New Brunswick NJ: Woman charged in Thanksgiving crash that killed kids