MAYS LANDING – A Lumberton woman was sentenced to jail last Friday for recklessly causing a two-car collision in 2013 that resulted in serious bodily injury to the other driver, and for leaving the scene of the collision, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton announced.
On August 24, 2013, at 12:28 p.m., Hammonton Police responded to the intersection of 2nd Road and 14th Street, Hammonton, for a reported motor vehicle collision.
Investigation determined that Christina N. Marino, then 20-years-old and a Hammonton resident, was operating a motor vehicle—a Ford Focus—northbound on 14th Street at a stop sign while texting on her cellphone, when she failed to yield to oncoming traffic, entered the intersection, and struck a vehicle traveling eastbound on 2nd Road, driven by James Badagliacco, 36, of Hammonton. Marino left the scene of the accident.
The impact from Marino’s vehicle caused Badagliacco’s vehicle—a Ford pickup truck— to leave the roadway and strike a tree. When police arrived, Badagliacco was entrapped inside the vehicle. Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene, and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Collision Unit also responded.
Emergency personnel extricated Badagliacco from the vehicle, and he was flown by New Jersey State Police helicopter to the Cooper Hospital Trauma Unit in critical condition with a head injury.
Marino and her vehicle were located in Winslow Township. The vehicle was impounded by police. Marino was examined and cleared by medical personnel, then interviewed by police.
Marino was charged on motor vehicle summonses with:
- Failure to stop or yield at a stop sign,
- Leaving the scene of an accident, and
- Improper use of a cellphone.
The victim, Mr. Badagliacco, was kept on life support for 4 days at Cooper Hospital, and has continued to obtain treatment for injuries caused by the collision, in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.
On August 20, 2014, Hammonton Police charged Marino criminally with:
- Assault by Auto, for “driving a vehicle recklessly and causing serious bodily injury to James Badagliacco specifically by texting with her cellular phone while operating her motor vehicle”—crime of the 4th degree, and
- Knowingly Leaving a Motor Vehicle Accident With Serious Bodily Injury—a 3rd degree crime,
On April 2, 2015, an Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Marino on both counts. On February 15, 2016, members of the U. S. Marshal Service arrested Marino in the State of Florida as a fugitive from justice. Marino was extradited back to New Jersey and lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, and was subsequently released from jail pending court.
Marino pled guilty to both crimes before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Damon Tyner on September 20, 2016.
On Friday, December 16, 2016, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Wild sentenced Marino, now 23-years-old, to 364 days in the Atlantic County Justice Facility during which she will be ineligible for the community release program, to 5 years of probation, and ordered that Marino pay $23,455 in restitution to the victim for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Before sentencing Marino, Judge Wild said, “This is an example of the danger of texting while driving.”
After sentencing, Atlantic County Sheriff Officers placed Marino in handcuffs, and escorted her to the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer, who represented the State in the matter, said, “The case illustrates the danger of inattentive driving. What really compounded this situation and made it a more serious crime was the fact that Marino left the scene of the accident while the victim was seriously injured and trapped in a vehicle from which he had to be extricated. Because of her actions, this man now suffers with a lifelong injury.”
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. Members of the public can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800- 658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.