A horrific crash in Delaware last year left a New Jersey man and his four daughters dead – but the Maryland driver whose pickup truck crossed a highway median, according to authorities, won’t be going to prison.
Instead, defendant Alvin Hubbard III, 46, of Cambridge received one year of probation from Judge Calvin L. Scott Jr. The sentence came Friday in a Delaware courtroom.
Scott was appointed to the Superior Court of Delaware in 2003 by former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, a Democrat who served from 2001 to 2009, according to the official website of the Delware Courts.
Prosecutors had asked that Hubbard serve six months behind bars, while the New Jersey woman who lost her family wanted the driver to get the maximum allowed under the law: 14 years.
“His one life will never be enough for the five people he killed,” Mary Rose Ballocanag, 52, the grieving wife and mother, told The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.
“His one life will never be enough for the five people he killed.”
Reactions on social media included many expressions of disbelief at the judge's sentence.
"Apparently you can kill multiple people now and get probation??!!??," one Twitter user wrote. "Is the Delaware legal system different than the rest of the country?? This is insane!! This family deserves justice!!"
"Disgusting," another commenter wrote.
According to the newspaper, Hubbard wept during his sentencing and declined to say anything when given a chance to speak.
Ballocanag and many supporters had traveled from northern New Jersey for the hearing. The Teaneck resident lost her husband, Audie Trinidad, 61; and daughters Kaitlyn, 20; Danna, 17; and twins Allison and Melissa, 13.
The widow was with her family during the crash and suffered injuries that required eight surgeries, according to the News Journal.
Hubbard wasn’t charged until four months after the crash. He faced five counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault, as well as inattentive driving, driving across a median and failure to obey traffic devices. He pleaded not guilty.
Later, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges: five counts of operating a vehicle causing death, plus single counts of second-degree and third-degree vehicular assault.
Hubbard’s attorney argued that his client suffered a coughing fit while driving, causing his pickup truck to stray across the median. Prosecutors told the judge Hubbard was driving home after a full day’s work, after having slept only four to five hours the night before.