HAVERHILL — A local woman was sentenced to three years in jail in connection with a car crash that killed one person and injured three others.
Brooke Uttley, 23, was driving drunk when her speeding car hit a utility pole in Woburn, killing her friend Ashley Donahue, 20, of Bridgewater. The crash happened on Dec. 3, 2011.
Uttley of Haverhill has pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of felony motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury.
A release from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said, “The defendant took responsibility for causing a terrible crash which took the life of a talented, kind and joyful young woman and seriously injured others. This was a horrific, and entirely avoidable, incident which has forever altered the lives of everyone involved.’’
Middlesex Superior Court Judge Jane Haggerty sentenced Uttley to two years in jail on the felony motor vehicle homicide charge, to be followed by one year in jail on the serious bodily injury charge. Uttley received an additional one year in jail suspended for four years.
Police said that about 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2011, officers from Ashland and Framingham responded to 3 Badger Road in Framingham for reports of a crash. Police found a Honda Civic that had significant damage, but no people inside. The car’s air bags had been deployed and the rear window was shattered, police said. The car had hit a utility pole, police said.
Police discovered that three people who had been in the car were at a nearby home. They were then taken to MetroWest Medical Center, where they were treated for their injuries. One of those victims sustained serious injuries which affect her mobility and caused her to lose vision in her right eye.
Police said they found Uttley behind a tree in some nearby woods.
Officers said she had difficulty standing, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.
She was taken by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries.
A short distance from Uttley, officers found Donahue.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Investigators said they later learned Uttley and the four victims were at Uttley’s apartment in Ashland before the crash.
There, Uttley drank alcoholic beverages before driving the victims back to Framingham State University, where they lived on campus.
On the way to the campus, Uttley was driving 65 to 75 mph in a 30-mph zone when she lost control of the car and it hit the utility pole, police said.
The crash caused Donahue and another victim to be ejected from the car, police said. Uttley’s blood alcohol level shortly after the crash was .10 percent, according to investigators. The legal limit in Massachusetts is .08 percent.
The judge ordered that while behind bars, Uttley must attend the maximum number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings available to her. Her driver’s license will be suspended for 15 years.
The judge also ordered the following conditions after Uttley’s jail stay and while she is on probation: That she have no contact with the family of the deceased victim, refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs, be placed on sober monitoring and undergo random screens for alcohol and drugs, attend three AA meetings per week, undergo a substance abuse evaluation and complete any additional recommended treatment, seek and maintain employment or academic programs, complete 100 hours of community service, and speak to six high school assemblies about the case.