Share this article

print logo

Woman sent to prison for vehicular homicide

A Perry woman will spend 1 2/3 -to-5 years in state prison, as the result of an alcohol-related crash last September that killed one of the passengers in her car, 20-year-old Marissa A. Ozzimo of Perry, according to Wyoming County District Attorney Donald G. O'Geen.

Erin Tetreault, 21, was sentenced Thursday on her conviction to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated, which she pleaded guilty to in June. Besides the prison term, Tetreault was also ordered to pay restitution of $45,478, a $1,000 fine and to turn in her driver's license, which is now revoked.

Tetreault, then 20, was at the wheel of a 2006 Toyota when she lost control and slid into a tree on Miller Road in Gainesville just before 11 p.m. on Sept. 30. Tetreault who had three passengers in the vehicle, including Ozzimo, was driving with a 0.09 percent blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash, prosecutors said.

"(Tetreault) drove drunk in this case and operated her vehicle in an extremely reckless manner," O'Geen said. "Marissa Ozzimo's mother, father and family will be affected by the loss of Marissa for the rest of their lives."

In the post-accident investigation, Wyoming County Sheriff Sgt. Daniel Langdon calculated Tetreault's speed to be about 80 mph in a 45 mph zone just before the crash.

Along with Ozzimo, passengers Nicole L. Grover, then 20, and Catherine L. Perry, then 21, both of Perry were also in the car. Grover and Perry were seriously injured. At least one of the women feared for their life, according to a text message obtained by sheriff's officials.

Sheriff's Forensic Technician Steven Miller, who obtained a search warrant for the passengers' cellphones, learned that one of them sent a text message to a friend stating "I might die" moments before the crash.

Another text sent just prior to the crash indicated Tetreault was "drinkin and drivin," saying that "she crazy," Miller learned.

Tetreault, who was treated and released from the hospital after the crash, was immediately arrested and charged with DWI, speeding, failure to keep right and having an open container.

"No sentence is going to bring Marissa back," added O'Geen. "We just feel for her family."

"We hope that this case helps people realize the tragic consequences that can result from drinking and driving."

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com