Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Sheffield Crash
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Sandy Hook, Conn., man pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Berkshire Superior Court to motor vehicle homocide and his fifth offense of drunken driving in connection with an accident that claimed the life of a South County woman.
Frederick J. Weller, 36, will have to serve 15 to 18 years in Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
Weller was accused of drunkenly smashing his truck into two vehicles, killing Moira Banks-Dobson, 24, and seriously injuring Russell Brown, then 52, on Feb. 28, 2012. Weller was northbound in his F-350 on Route 7 in Sheffield when he hit Brown's Dodge Neon head-on in the southbound lane and then ended up on top of Banks-Dobson's Toyota Corolla. He tried to flee the scene and threatened people trying to stop him.
Appearing before Judge John Agostini, Weller pleaded guilty to single counts of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger; operating under the influence of alcohol, serious bodily injury and operating to endanger; operating under the influence of alcohol (5th offense); intimidation of a witness or other person; leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, death resulting; and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving the scene of a property damage accident and one count of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
Agostini ordered that he serve a 12- to 14-year state prison sentence at Cedar Junction on the charge of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger. He was given a 3- to 4-year state prison sentence, to be served on and after the first sentence, on the operating under the influence of alcohol, serious bodily injury and operating to endanger charge. He was given concurrent jail time on the other charges.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Sheffield Police Department.