On February 20, 2008 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, one Sarah Marquis was sentenced to two to eight years in prison for killing a young man of 19, Erik Vannucchi in Plymouth, MA. She had been drinking and hit him so hard with her Jeep Wrangler that his body was thrown 97 feet along the street.
He had been riding his motorcycle and been pulled over by the police who could not see his bike’s license plate. While waiting for them to tow his bike, he was struck and killed.
Marquis told the police that she knew she had hit someone, but was too afraid to stop, so she drove on. By the time she was found and arrested, it was too late to test her blood alcohol level and she couldn’t be charged with drinking and driving.
Erik’s father told the court that Erik would have started his first semester at Penn State University in the fall and was planning to go on to law school.
Vannucchi’s family and friends filled the court and wept as Judge Michael Toole read the sentence and his statement. Marquis wept too, and had wept throughout the hearing as she fingered her rosary beads. Nobody in her family spoke on her behalf, although some wrote letters to Judge Toole. She had also struck the tow truck driver who was preparing to tow Vannucchi’s bike, and inflicted a shoulder injury.
Judge Toole ordered Marquis to pay court costs and $14,048.28 to the Vannucchi family as restitution. He gave her one to four years for vehicular homicide and one to four for accidental involuntary death, to be served consecutively, as well as six years probation on other charges.
At the end he told Marquis:
“This courtroom was full of tears not just by you, but everyone. You’re still here, he is not. Nothing I can do can make that right.”
If you have lost a loved person because of somebody’s negligence on the road, please contact us to arrange for a free consultation.