CBS New York
RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It was a tear-filled sentencing hearing Friday on Long Island for a man who admitted to driving drunk, speeding and crashing into a truck, killing two Medford grandparents.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, anguished relatives clutching photos of William and Joanne Kear sobbed in a packed courtroom, delivering heartbreaking impact statements. The couple’s three daughters told the judge they are locked in a prison of grief after a drunk driver stole the lives of their beloved parents who had eight grandchildren.
“It is devastating to our family,” daughter Patricia Kear said.
“They just always did the right thing,” her sister Christine said. “It’s just unimaginable pain every day.”
The Kears were driving home from a family dinner in April when 23-year-old Kyle Glinka, leaving a bar and speeding close to 100 mph, ran a red light in Ronkonkoma and crashed into their truck. Glinka had a blood-alcohol level of .19 after 14 drinks.
Ironically, William Kear chose not to drink that night.
“He made a conscious decision not to have any alcohol at all, to drive home, protecting himself and his wife, and they were ultimately struck down by a drunk driver who didn’t make the same decisions,” another family member said.
A stoic Glinka was barely audible when he told the victims’ family he’s sorry.
“He wished he could turn back the hands of time. He obviously was apologetic and sincere in his remorse,” dwi defense attorney Michael Brown said.
Judge Fernando Camcho, noting that Glinka was abused as a child, credited him with taking responsibility and pleading guilty. But the six to eight year sentence he delivered was not enough for a family pleading for tougher penalties.
“Please really think before you drink,” Patricia said.
The judge told Glinka, I hope you spend every minute thinking about how to atone for the pain and grief you caused very, very good people.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide. He worked as a draftsman and had no prior criminal record.