“You sentenced yourself.”
Those were the words spoken by Judge Richard Ambro as he sentenced Amy Wesolowski to one to three years in a New York State prison for vehicular manslaughter Wednesday.
Ms. Wesolowski, a Flanders resident, is responsible for the Jan. 13, 2022 crash that killed her four-year-old daughter, Gracelyn Perkowski, who was a passenger in the car.
Ms. Wesolowski had previously pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter resulting in the death of a child passenger; aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child in the car, driving while impaired by drugs and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police allege she took nearly twice the legal limit of amphetamines and was unable to react properly when she pulled out in front of a car on Flanders Road.
Her daughter was lying on the ground while first responders tried to rescue her, assistant District Attorney James Curtin said in court.
John Perkowski, Gracelyn’s father, said he stayed with Gracelyn while doctors tried to save her at Stony Brook University Hospital, where she died three days later.
Speaking to the judge and holding back tears Wednesday, he said his wife lied about why she was in the hospital, saying it was because of injuries suffered in the crash, and not because police wanted to test her blood.
Beverly Perkowski, Gracelyn’s grandmother, said Jan. 13 was “the worst day in [her] family ever” in a victim impact statement.
A court officer handed her a box of tissues as she spoke, recalling how Gracelyn’s five year old sister, Kinley, built a memorial to her.
“I wish I could trade places,” Ms. Wesolowski said of her daughter.
She also vowed to remain sober. “I will try to be a better person,” she said.
Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 2 ⅓ to 7 years, but the judge went for a more lenient sentence.
“You sentenced yourself,” the judge said, emphasizing that Ms. Wesolowski will have to grapple with the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life.