Jury trial begins in traffic crash that killed two children

March 2, 2023
Northampton Courthouse

By Linda Cicoira

A jury was selected and the trial got underway Wednesday in Northampton Circuit Court for a young Onancock man charged with reckless driving and two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a traffic crash that killed two girls last year.

Twenty-two-year-old Joseph Michael Castiglia, of Savageville Road, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was driving a 2006 Ford F-250 pickup on Lankford Highway, near Bayford Road, on Jan. 28, 2022, that struck the back of a 2007 Toyota Yaris that had come to a halt behind a school bus on Lankford Highway in Trehernville. The impact caused the Toyota to strike the back of a 2016 GMC Pickup, sandwiching the Yaris between the two larger vehicles.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton said Nayda Vazquez Negron was taking her three daughters to school that morning when the crash occurred. It was just after 7 a.m. when they started their journey from Exmore to Eastville in a “long stretch of highway” near Riggins’ Trailer Park.

Both of the girls in the backseat perished from their injuries. The 12-year-old died at the scene. The 15-year-old passed away at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters a couple of days later. The third daughter, who was in the front seat, and the mother, survived.

“Nayda was clearly able to see there was a … Northampton School bus with lights a flashing” ahead of her,” Thornton continued in his opening statement. “They were completely stopped for 4.7 seconds” before Castiglia “slammed into the rear” of their car. “In that instant, lives were changed forever, the small vehicle was compressed,” Thornton added.

The prosecutor said Castiglia’s vehicle left no skid marks. There was no evidence that the defendant was intoxicated or texting while driving. But Thornton said, “He was working very long hours – getting up early and going to sleep very late. He should have known he needed more sleep” before driving.

Defense lawyer James Brocoletti said that in addition to no evidence of alcohol or drug use, there was no evidence that Castiglia had been speeding or driving erratically. “This was an accident with tragic consequences,” he said. “Nothing that I do, or say … nothing is meant to demean or disrespect these two children.”

     The trial is expected to continue on Thursday.

Listen Live!


Local Weather

October 3, 2023, 10:50 pm
0 mph
real feel: 57°F
current pressure: 1022 mb
humidity: 94%
wind speed: 0 mph N
Windgusts: 11 mph
UV-Index: 0
sunrise: 6:59 am
sunset: 6:43 pm

Visit our sponsors