Judge gives wrong-way crash killer max sentence for manslaughter

Posted: Updated:
CENTRAL ISLIP -

A Sound Beach man was given the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for a drunken, wrong-way crash that killed a man two days before Christmas in 2015. 

Christopher O'Brien was convicted of manslaughter after a two-week bench trial in Central Islip this past October. 

Prosecutors say O'Brien was high on cocaine and had a blood alcohol level of .17 – more than two times the legal limit – when he drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway and crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Thomas D'Eletto. 

Before the 56-year-old was sentenced, he turned to the victim's family and read a statement that said in part, "I know nothing I can do or say can repair your family…what happened was avoidable…I take full responsibility…God bless you and your family."

D'Eletto's daughter Christina Westnofske says she's glad her father's killer has taken time to reflect on the crash.

"The two men involved in the crash couldn't be more different in terms of their dispositions," she said. 

Judge Fernando Camacho agreed, saying that D'Eletto was "a strong, devoted, responsible pillar of society." He then called O'Brien "irresponsible" and "weak." 

"Your only goal in your adult life was getting your next high. The only possible just sentence is the maximum sentence," said Comacho. 

He also said that O'Brien should be denied parole when the time comes.
 

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