It was “skip out of school day” when several teenagers crammed into a stolen SUV and headed for Jones Beach on Long Island, a defense lawyer said Monday, reported NBC New York.
Cindy Sanchez Oliva, 15, was driving eight teenagers and her 18-month-old son when the car sped and weaved in and out of traffic on Meadowbrook State Parkway on Friday, authorities said, per the news station. The 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer went off the road and flipped over several times before landing in a marsh, the impact ejecting three teens from the car, NBC New York said.
One of the teens thrown from the vehicle, 15-year-old Marlon Carbajal, was the son of the owner of the stolen vehicle, Newsday reported. Carbajal, David Sanchez (Cindy’s brother), 13, and Herbert Leo Avilles-Maravilla, 16, were all killed, the newspaper said.
Sanchez Oliva’s toddler was injured, but not critically, authorities said. The other six teens, ages 13 to 17, including Sanchez Oliva, also weren’t badly hurt, Newsday reported.
Sanchez Oliva was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, CBS New York reported.
Defense attorney James Toner said his client “wasn’t supposed to drive that day,” according to ABC 7.
"...There was another designated driver who was intoxicated and she had assumed the role as driver because she did not want to get in the car or have her child driven by an intoxicated driver," he said.
Toner said Sanchez Oliva took the wheel because the designated driver was “high or drunk," Newsday reported. Tests show she didn't have alcohol or drugs in her system, he said.
The SUV had been reported stolen by Carbajal’s father before the crash, CBS New York reported. Prosecutors say no one in the vehicle had a driver’s license.
Toner denied the charges on his client’s behalf, Newsday reported. He says Sanchez Oliva is “very distraught.”