Driver Who Hit Students Sentenced To Ten Years

The driver of a car that hit and killed an undergraduate last May was sentenced in Litchfield, Conn. Superior Court yesterday to 10 years in prison.

In the crowded and emotional two-hour proceeding, Steven T. Driscoll received a five-year jail sentence and five years of probation for striking Sarah T. Craig 99 and three other undergraduates as they walked along a dark Norfolk, Conn. road. Craig died after sustaining a brief coma.

Driscoll, 28, was intoxicated when he veered his car towards Craig and her roommates, according to Christopher M. Cosgrove, the public defender.

In 1995 Driscoll completed a 12-week alcohol treatment program as a result of a drunk driving charge.

Craig's mother, Valerie, yesterday termed the sentencing "extremely disappointing," saying offenders in Connecticut historically only serve between 50 percent and 80 percent of their sentences.


"He should be responsible for what he did," Valerie Craig said. "Drinking is no excuse. He still killed her. He still turned his truck toward them."

Craig's family cannot appeal the decision, but a civil suit is pending.

According to Jennifer R. Weiss '99, who was present during the accident and sentencing, the Driscoll's insurance money ran out before covering Craig's three-day hospital stay.

Craig's friends and family and Driscoll's supporters wrote letters to the judge before the decision, attempting to influence him, Cosgrove said.

Craig's mother, younger brother and roommate, Lucy Yen '99, said in emotional testimony at the sentencing that they think about Craig every day, according to Weiss. They also said they believed Driscoll was arrogant and not remorseful.

A great-aunt and a friend spoke on behalf of Driscoll, describing him as generous and helpful, according to Cosgrove.

They said Driscoll, an army veteran who was recalled for Desert Storm but not sent overseas, brought firewood to a local church, landscaped and housesat for neighbors.

Driscoll's uncle William T. Driscoll was present in court yesterday but declined to comment.

The prosecution argued that Driscoll should serve a full sentence, based on his prior history of alcohol abuse and drunk driving, according to David S. Shepack, assistant state's attorney.

The defense pointed out Driscoll's positive qualities, requesting that he not receive the full sentence.

"We asked the judge [Driscoll] on probation and give him certain conditions, to let him do some community service," Cosgrove said.

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