Local mother killed by alleged drunk driver

- Authorities say a 20-year-old with multiple DUIs on his record hit and killed a mother of two in Washington Township, New Jersey.  According to authorities, he was under the influence again and was driving with a suspended license.

Along Route 42 in Washington Township flowers mark the place where 31-year-old Cathleen LaBance died

"I'm still in shock to be perfectly honest. I haven't fully grasped not having her there at Christmas. Always taking a picture.There's only three of us now," brother Jack  Buscemi said.

According to authorities, the mother of two small children died at the scene when a truck crossed the median. Police say at the wheel was 20-year-old Robert Gardner who was driving while suspended while under the influence with three DUIs to his name.

"How does anyone look at this case and not think the system broke down and ended in the death of a 31-year-old mother of two," FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked. Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said, "That is the conclusion you'd come to in this particular case."

Dalton says in Gardner's DUIs law enforcement asked he be jailed but the courts set him free only to do it again.

In his second DUI, Gloucester County Prosecutors urged Superior Court Judge Kevin Smith to jail him.  He was released with restrictions.

Smith's clerk told FOX 29 the Judge wouldn't comment. Tonight, Gardner is behind bars on a manslaughter charge unlikely to see the light of day for some time.


 

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