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Another Christmas without them: Family of mom and girl who died in Bayshore Boulevard crash speak out in court

In a routine hearing for two young men accused in the horrific 2018 crash on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard, the family of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and her daughter, Lilla, implore the judge to set a trial date.
David  Raubenolt, husband of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and father of Lillia Raubenolt, speaks during a routine court hearing Wednesday for the two teens accused of causing the traffic crash that took their lives.
David Raubenolt, husband of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and father of Lillia Raubenolt, speaks during a routine court hearing Wednesday for the two teens accused of causing the traffic crash that took their lives. [ WTVT-Fox 13 ]
Published Dec. 18, 2019
Updated Dec. 18, 2019

TAMPA — The family of a mother and her young daughter who were killed in a horrific crash on Bayshore Boulevard more than a year ago spoke out Wednesday during a routine court hearing for the two men accused of causing their deaths.

David Raubenolt, husband of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and father of their 21-month-old daughter, Lillia, stood in a black suit and tie and sobbed heavily as he implored Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash to bring justice.

“I am the remaining survivor from the extinction of the Raubenolt-Reisinger bloodline on May 23, 2018,” Raubenolt said. “Since the unspeakable and terrifying death of my wife and daughter, I’ve suffered horrifically every moment. It is nearly impossible to put into words the agony of this legal process and the decaying of my life during this time.”

Hillsborough prosecutors have accused Cameron Herrin, 20, and John Barrineau, 19, of vehicular homicide in the deaths of Reisinger-Raubenolt and her daughter. The mother, who was from Ohio and visiting her family in Tampa, was pushing the girl in a stroller across Tampa’s iconic waterside boulevard as the teens raced each other in a Nissan Altima and a Ford Mustang, authorities said.

Related: New documents detail horror, heartbreak in Bayshore crash that killed mother, daughter

They sped north from Gandy Boulevard up Bayshore, reaching speeds as high as 102 mph, police said. The Mustang hit Reisinger-Raubenolt and the child as they attempted to cross the road.

Both young men have been free on bail, with restrictions, since shortly after their arrests. Herrin’s brother, Tristan, who police said was a passenger in the Mustang, also faces a charge of unlawful racing.

In court Wednesday, Raubenolt said the delay before trial has compounded his family’s suffering.

“I would like the court to recognize that during this time we are suffering with no end in sight,” he said. “The torment and terror caused by the fact that they are not in prison yet does not feel survivable to me. I will not use the word unfair because it pales in comparison to what this lengthy judicial process has been for our families and myself.”

Earlier this year, he said, he was hospitalized with a kidney ailment. Doctors told him he might not survive. He had to watch his family brace for what they expected might be another loss, he said.

“It is difficult to describe the hopelessness and defeat of laying in that hospital bed near the brink of death and knowing the people that killed my family are still not in prison,” he said.

Related: Parents of teens in fatal Bayshore crash described as loving, attentive, devastated

Jessica’s father, Bob Reisinger, also spoke, expressing the same frustrations.

“It’s clear to me that the accused with the assistance of their legal representatives are trying to delay being held accountable for their decisions and actions of May 23, 2018,” Reisinger said. “Next week, the accused will be spending their second Christmas at home, while our families spend our second Christmas without Jess and Lillia. This doesn’t feel right to me. As a victim of crime of this nature it is very difficult to move forward without criminal justice being served.”

Bob Reisinger, the father of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and grandfather of Lillia Raubenolt, speaks during a routine court hearing Wednesday for the two young men accused of causing the traffic crash that took their lives.
Bob Reisinger, the father of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and grandfather of Lillia Raubenolt, speaks during a routine court hearing Wednesday for the two young men accused of causing the traffic crash that took their lives. [ WTVT-Fox 13 ]

Judge Nash, while acknowledging the family’s words, said he did not want to open to the door to an eventual appeal by rushing to a trial.

Lawyers for the defense told the judge that they had been waiting since last year for the state to provide them a detailed report from a crash expert. They said they only received the report this week. It includes more than 1,600 pages of detailed data, which they have not had time to analyze.

They said they could be ready for trial by June.

The judge set the two-week trial to begin early that month, with monthly updates scheduled in the interim.

Related: Bayshore race claims two lives: child dies day after mother’s death