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Latrobe woman, 80, pleads guilty to fatal car crash

| Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

An 80-year-old Latrobe woman pleaded guilty on Friday for causing a car crash more than two years ago that killed her best friend.

Carolyn Boerio was sentenced by Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway to serve five years on probation and have her driver's license suspended for seven years — four years longer than state law requires — as a result of the fatal crash on Aug. 28, 2010.

Police said Boerio was traveling on Route 130 in Cook Township when she drove through a stop sign as she turned onto Route 711 in Stahlstown.

Boerio's car hit a sport utility vehicle driven by Matthew Carter of Verona. Carter and his three children were uninjured, police said.

But Janice Massimino, 66, of Latrobe, who was seated in the front passenger's seat of Boerio's car, died from her injuries. Boerio was injured, according to police.

Boerio's only comment in court yesterday was that she pleaded guilty because it was in her best interest to do so.

“The person who died was her longtime best friend, and she feels horrible about what happened. It's really something that has weighed on her since it first happened,” defense attorney Michael DeMatt said.

Boerio pleaded guilty to a felony charge of vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter and four charges of reckless endangerment.

Assistant District Attorney Pete Flanigan said the sentence was crafted to ensure that Boerio does not drive again until she is cleared to do so by PennDOT.

“There are concerns over her ability to drive safely and that prompted the decision to suspend her license beyond the mandatory three years,” Flanigan said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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