Woman Who Filed $10M Lawsuit Against Mafia Family Over Son's Murder Dies In Car Crash
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Peter Cavanagh/ Alamy
A 70-year-old woman who had filed a lawsuit against members of a Mafia organised crime family has passed away following a car crash in New York.
The incident took place on Friday (29 July), when Rose Gargano from Brooklyn was driving south on Third Ave. at about 3:42pm local time.
New York Police Department's Highway Investigation Squad said Gargano is thought to have lost control of her 2020 Range Rover and veered to the left of the road, where she drove over a curb and hit a support for an elevated road which was undergoing construction.
Police were alerted to the scene through a 911 call and found the 70-year-old woman unconscious behind the wheel approximately two miles away from her home in Bay Ridge. She was then transported to NYU Langone-Brooklyn, where she was pronounced dead.
An autopsy is set to determine the exact cause of death, but the NYPD is investigating the possibility Gargano suffered a medical episode behind the wheel.
In a statement to the New York Daily News, one of Gargano's sons, Jerry Gargano, commented: "Our family is devastated and is grieving over the loss of a beloved wife, mother and grandmother. She will be deeply missed."
A neighbour described Gargano as a 'strong woman and very caring', adding: "It’s a shame that she passed.”
The mother's death came after she and her husband, Carmine, filed a $10 million wrongful death civil lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court in 2018 against higher-ups in the Colombo crime family, Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello and Dino "Big Dino" Calabro.
Both Competiello and Calabro were convicted of murdering another of Gargano's sons, Carmine Gargano Jr., in 1994 when he was just 21 years old, but the pair escaped life sentences when they agreed with prosecutors to co-operate.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors claimed Calabro had told Competiello to 'take care of it', prompting Competiello to shoot Gargano Jr. twice before using a sledgehammer to beat the 21-year-old's body.
Competiello was ultimately sentenced in 2014 to 12 years behind bars for the crime, while Calabro was sentenced in 2017 to 11 years in prison.
Garganos, who lost her husband during the coronavirus pandemic, had previously commented on her decision to file a lawsuit to the New York Daily News, saying: "I’ll never let it go. Those guys changed my life and my family forever."
The 70-year-old leaves behind three sons.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]