The driver who pleaded guilty to a fatal crash two summers ago was sentenced Friday. LuAnn Burgess will not serve any time behind bars for the crash that killed Carol Lansing, Fran Pallozzi, and Rose Marie Hume. Burgess had been on prescription drugs at the time of the crash. Our Megan Cruz was there at the sentencing and has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "I am so sorry to have caused the pain and suffering that has been brought to you and your family. Words cannot express the heartbreak and remorse I feel everyday. I pray the souls of your loved ones rest in peace. Today I ask forgiveness and mercy."
A tearful LuAnn Burgess sat through her sentencing Friday. Haunted not by what her future holds, but by the past, which was recounted in court by six daughters of the three women who Burgess struck and killed in August 2011. She wept along with them as they said how her actions were horrendous and life-altering. In the end, the judge's decision...
Judge Stephen Herrick said, "Five years probation with medical and mental health conditions, and a condition that she file an affidavit with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles indicating lifetime forfeiture of her privilege to drive in New York State and elsewhere."
She'll also serve 600 hours of community service, specifically working with the County's STOP DWI program. It's a sentence not everyone in the Lansing, Hume, and Pallozzi families agree with, but they say it's one that helps them move forward.
Kathy Pallozzi, daughter of Fran Pallozzi, said, "I feel relief already. The healing begins. Dare I say not just for my family, for all three families involved."
It's a case that's brought to light the complicated issue of driving while prescribed.
Judge Herrick said, "There's absolutely no alcohol, no overdose of any of the prescribed medication."
Defense attorney Larry Rosen said, "No physician warned LuAnn not to drive, and in fact issued her a handicap parking permit."
ADA Mary Tanner-Richter said, "She is the one who is ultimately responsible for determining whether she can safely drive or not."
As part of moving forward, they all hope some good can come from this.
District Attorney David Soares said, "There needs to be more dialogue with patients and physicians before these products are administered."
Pallozzi said, "Whatever plight the district attorney's office takes as to how to deter this from happening in the future, I will say there are several family members that will in support of that."
Plans to meet with the medical community in the next couple weeks.