Police: Driver plows into family of 8 in Garnerville, killing mother

Posted: Updated:

Six children are without a mother after a man intentionally smashed his car into a family of eight in Rockland County on Wednesday, according to police.

Police say Jason Mendez, 35, of Washingtonville, is facing second-degree murder charges and seven counts of attempted murder after they say he deliberately drove his car into a family of eight twice just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The family was standing outside a 7-Eleven at 75 Central Highway in Garnerville, when the family's 35-year-old father allegedly asked Mendez not to smoke near his children.

Investigators say Mendez then got into his car and mowed down the family, then backed up to hit them again.

Melissa Castillo DeLoatch, 32, was killed. The victim's family says that she was one to two months pregnant.

The father and six children, ages 10 and under, were hospitalized. News 12 was told that three of them are still recovering at Westchester Medical Center, one with a broken leg and another just 3 years old with a punctured liver.

Mendez stayed on the scene, but then had an altercation with police.

"They had to take the subject down at gunpoint. The subject exited the vehicle with a knife, officers Tased the subject, took him down and took him into custody," says Haverstraw Police Capt. Martin Lund.

Mendez has been remanded to the Rockland County Jail. He is due back in court next week.

A GoFundMe page to assist the family has been set up by DeLoatch’s cousin.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."