By Emmy Liederman
Two months after a Dec. 2 car crash shattered the campus community, families of the victims have been busy demanding justice and fighting for the full recovery of their loved ones.
Anthony Galante, a sophomore finance major, has been recovering at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey, for more than five weeks. After sustaining a traumatic brain injury, Galante must relearn how to walk, talk, feed and dress himself, according to his mother Kim Galante. Her son has begun to communicate with simple responses, but must re-strengthen his hand and legs, which were surgically repaired, before he can walk again.
“He’s making slow and steady progress,” she said. “It’s going to be a long recovery as we are looking at another four weeks in here and hopefully home with outpatient therapy after that.”
Ryan Moore, a senior marketing major, has been in rehab for about a month now, according to his father Eric Moore. His son’s girlfriend Jenna Passero, who was visiting the College on the weekend of the crash, has also been recovering in physical therapy.
“Every day they are doing a little bit better,” Moore said.
In an effort to seek justice for sophomore math major Michael Sot, whose death resulted from the crash, the Sot family has hired attorney David L. Wikstrom in a civil action lawsuit against the alleged drunk driver, David Lamar V, and Campus Town’s Landmark Americana Tap and Grill.
The complaint, filed Dec. 26, contains four counts — a judgement against Lamar, Landmark’s “over-serving and selling of alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated patron,” failure to properly train bartenders and staff and the bar’s promotion and advertisement of excessive drinking. Michael Sot, Sr. and Candice Buno-Sot, the victim’s parents, have requested a trial by jury.
“Michael was an incredible young man who made a decision to be safe and keep others safe,” Wikstrom said. “His actions and decisions are an example to all.”
Kim Galante recently informed her son that his close friend and fraternity brother had died.
“We think about Michael and his family often and recently broke the news to Anthony, who was very upset and overwhelmed by it,” she said.
This week, crash victim Matt DeGenova, a senior accounting major, starts physical therapy. DeGenova is thankful for the campus community’s support in helping him navigate this difficult time.
“I’m really happy and grateful for my friends and all the support I got from the TCNJ community,” he said. “It made coping with everything tremendously better for me.”