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Man sentenced 6 to 18 years for wrong way crash

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Press release: Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell announced today that Patrick B. Collins, 51, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania was sentenced today in Sullivan County Court by Judge Michael McGuire to 6 to 18 years in state prison for the wrong way drunk driving crash that claimed the life of a 33 year old Monticello man and seriously injured a 27 year old Monticello woman, the man’s fiancé.  

Collins entered a plea of guilty to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a class B felony, and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor.  Farrell said Collins was highly intoxicated, with a blood test showing a blood alcohol content of .19, more than twice the legal limit, and was driving the wrong way on State Route 17 in the area of Catskill Regional Medical Center at about 10:17 p.m. on the evening of October 16, 2018 when he crashed head-on into another vehicle properly being operated in the westbound lanes resulting in the death of the 33 year old driver and seriously injuring a passenger in that vehicle. 

Farrell said that while the surviving victim has recovered physically, she still suffers from memory loss as a result of the head injury she sustained. 

Collins was arrested after an investigation by the New York State Police, the Sullivan County District Attorney and the NYSP Forensic Investigation Unit and Collision Reconstruction Unit. 

An off duty Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputy, who had just finished his shift at the Sullivan County Jail and was driving home, narrowly avoided being struck by Collins’ vehicle and immediately called 911 and was the first responder on scene to help the victims. 

“This fatal crash and the resultant loss of innocent life was completely preventable and avoidable.  Imagine the horror of encountering a vehicle on the Quickway at night in your lane at highway speed.  The defendant chose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and the result of that choice has irrevocably impacted the lives of his victims forever.  Four children are now without their father and a family deprived of the loss of their brother because of the actions of this defendant and the sentence handed down today re-affirms my commitment to seek justice for the victims of drunk drivers and hold these offenders responsible for their actions.  We should have no more victims and everyone should take warning of the life changing consequences and impact of drunk driving.” Farrell said.

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