Saying that a May 1, 2010, crash was “absolutely a real tragedy,” Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick McDonald noted the bright futures of the two young women involved — one who recently completed her education and another who was never able to begin.
The judge today sentenced Veronica Trinidad, 26, to 18 months probation, including 30 days in work release and a three-year driver’s license suspension for her role in the 2010 crash that killed Erin Marious.
“The victim made an improper left-hand turn in front of Ms. Trinidad but of course, Ms. Trinidad was speeding,” he said. He noted that Ms. Marious was an 18-year-old woman with a “bright future” while Ms. Trinidad had no criminal record and was pursuing a career in health care.
Ms. Trinidad of 1160 Radcliffe Dr., pleaded no contest April 24 to vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Authorities said Ms. Trinidad was driving southwest on Broadway at high speed when she broadsided Ms. Marious’ vehicle. Ms. Marious, who lived a block away from Ms. Trinidad on Radcliffe, was turning left onto Broadway from a stop sign on Salem Street when her car was struck.
Authorities believe Ms. Trinidad was traveling at least 55 mph in a 35-mph zone when the cars collided. Because higher courts have ruled that proof of excessive speeding alone does not meet the legal definition of driving recklessly, the charge had been dropped from a felony during Ms. Trinidad’s plea hearing.
Ms. Marious, 18, died May 7, 2010, in Toledo Hospital as a result of injuries she suffered in the crash six days earlier.
In a letter read to the judge by her best friend, Jacqueline Waters shared her experiences of the pain of losing her daughter. She noted that Ms. Marious was planning to attend Bowling Green State University with dreams of becoming an accountant and she asked the judge not to think of her daughter as simply a name on a piece of paper but instead for the vivacious young woman she was.
“People say time heals all wounds. No it doesn’t,” the letter said. “My baby is gone and she can never be replaced.”
A tearful Ms. Trinidad did not say anything in court. Her attorney, Martin McMannus, noted that Ms. Trinidad had lived with the results of the crash for nearly two years before she faced criminal charges.
“Veronica since that time has been in her own little prison,” he said, adding that she is “very remorseful” for her role in the crash.
Contact Erica Blake at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.