A judge sentenced a Shirley man to 5-2/3 to 17 years in prison for driving while intoxicated and fatally hitting a mother and injuring her three young daughters in Farmingville, Suffolk County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Chris D. Montpetit, 37, pleaded guilty on May 20 to aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless driving following the Sept. 25, 2020, crash. Erika Bautista, 31, died of her injuries on Oct. 11, 2020.
“A woman was killed and her three young girls were left without a mother because of this defendant’s reckless decision to drive drunk,” said County District Attorney Timothy Sini in a statement. “Anyone who gets behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is knowingly and willfully putting lives on the line..”
Prosecutors said Montpetit was driving a 2018 Jeep north on County Route 83 in Farmingville “at a high rate of speed and rapidly changing lanes” when he hit the rear of a 2015 Honda Civic, which was driven by Bautista. Her car had become disabled in the right lane and had its hazard lights on.
Bautista’s two daughters — ages 4 and 8 at the time — were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries. Bautista’s third daughter — age 10 — suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Suffolk County police said at the time.
Montpetit refused to submit to a blood test after he was arrested. Prosecutors then obtained a warrant to test Montpetit’s blood, which showed a blood alcohol content of 0.28%, more than three times the legal limit.
Montpetit was sentenced by Suffolk Supreme Court Justice John Collins.
Montpetit’s lawyer, Michael Brown of Central Islip, said his client “wanted to give some solace to the family and put this matter behind him.” He added: “He’s looking forward to paying his debt to society and returning back to being a productive member of the community.”