WASHINGTON TWP., N.J. (CBS) — Thousands gathered earlier this week to bid a final farewell to Toni Bolis and her unborn son, Ryan. The victim’s family says the Washington Township mother, who was just days away from delivering her second child, was killed in a head-on crash by a distracted driver.
Bolis’ family has started a campaign to raise awareness of distracted driving. They are urging others to wear Green on Friday in support of their efforts in Toni and Ryan’s memory. Green was Toni’s favorite color.
Toni’s sisters Annette and Angela Donato spoke to Eyewitness News the day after the accident and described their sister as a happily married mother of a two-year-old little girl who couldn’t wait to meet the newest member of her family – whose sex was going to be a surprise. That day never came for Toni.
As Toni was headed home from a doctor’s visit, police say 21-year-old Daniel Pereira of Glassboro was traveling in the opposite direction and crossed lanes, crashing head-on into Toni’s car. Both she and her baby, a boy, were killed.
Toni’s sisters say she was on a hands-free phone with her mother at the time of the crash, and afterwards, urged her to get to the scene on Pitman Downer Road. Her family was by her side within in minutes, but she was already unconscious.
Angela says she was able to speak to Pereira at the scene.
“He had told me he looked at his cell phone or GPS and he crashed,” said Angela.
The family is now warning others about the dangers of distracted driving, so no one else has to endure the pain and loss the Bolis’ are trying to cope with.
They are urging all drivers to put down their phones, GPSs, iPods, etc. and to pay attention while behind the wheel.
“Your hands should be on the wheel. She would still be here, her baby boy, Ryan, could still be here,” said Annette.
The prosecutor’s office and police continue to investigate and have not determined an official cause. To date, no charges have been filed.
To join their cause on Facebook, visit: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128678160544637.