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‘Huffing’ driver from fatal crash sentenced for burglary

A burglary sentence has been levied on top of the sentence Sarah M. Skotnicki is serving for a September crash that killed a Depew grandmother.

Skotnicki, 26, of Depew, was sentenced by Wyoming County Judge Michael Mohun to a term of one to three years for a household burglary she committed in Bennington in 2015.

Skotnicki pleaded guilty to that charge in April, a week after she was sentenced in State Supreme Court for smashing her speeding truck into a car driven by Carol Dion, 72, on French Road in Depew on Sept. 9. Dion died at the scene.

Skotnicki admitted that she had inhaled propellant from a stolen can of Endust to get high – a practice called “huffing” – in a store parking lot minutes before she drove at 70 mph through a residential neighborhood, crossed the center line and shattered Dion’s small sedan. Dion and her granddaughter were returning from a doctor’s appointment at the time of the late morning crash.

The ingredients of the household cleaner are not included on the state’s official list of controlled substances, so the highest charge Skotnicki faced for her crime was criminally negligent homicide. Justice John L. Michalski gave her the maximum sentence of 1½ to four years in prison and said at the time he wished it could be more.

The burglary sentence will run concurrently with the homicide term.


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