SUPERIOR COURT — A Frankford man who was seriously injured in October when his truck struck a tree near his home, three months after police say he drunkenly drove into a woman at the Hampton Walmart, is undergoing treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.


Mark DiBattista, 62, who founded Clinton Garage, an auto repair shop in Newton, appeared in court for the first time on Monday since his Oct. 1 crash in Frankford, where police say he was medevaced from the scene with “life-threatening” injuries.


While it is unknown what injuries DiBattista suffered, he did not appear to show any physical ailments as he walked to the defendant’s table with his attorney, David Dumbroff, Monday to answer to an indictment he is facing from a July 19, 2019 incident.


DiBattista was indicted in December on a charge of third-degree assault by auto after authorities say Robin Fichter, then 61, of Hamburg, was walking across the crosswalk in front of the Walmart in Hampton when DiBattista, driving a blue Dodge Ram, struck her with his vehicle. The victim, whose injuries were considered “serious,” told police DiBattista was making a left turn when he struck her; DiBattista, who police say failed field sobriety tests at the scene, told authorities Fichter had already fallen when he hit her.


Dumbroff told the court Monday that DiBattista — a U.S. Marine Corps veteran — has been undergoing treatment at the Veterans Affairs Hudson Valley Health Care System, a health care system for veterans in Montrose, N.Y. He is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder in a mandatory in-patient facility, Dumbroff stated.


As a result of his in-patient care, DiBattista does not have a vehicle. When reminded by Judge Louis S. Sceusi to “not drive,” DiBattista responded, “I haven’t since the accident in October; I haven’t driven a vehicle and I don’t want to drive a vehicle.”


Assistant Prosecutor Brent Rafuse stated that DiBattista is expected to complete the program in late April and it is anticipated that during the next court hearing, a plea will likely go through.


“He is going to apply to drug court in the interim and have a legal and clinical assessment done,” Rafuse stated.


Rafuse said it is possible that due to the charges DiBattista is facing, which also includes several motor vehicle charges including reckless driving, that he may be barred from drug court, but he would need to fill out the application to find out.


During both crashes, DiBattista’s dogs were inside his truck but not seriously injured.


DiBattista’s Facebook page indicates he has owned and operated Clinton Garage since 1988.


He is expected to appear back in court on May 4.


Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.