• Driver pleads guilty in DUI crash
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | August 16,2014
     

    BARRE ó A Granite City man has admitted he was drunk when he crashed a sport utility vehicle in 2012, seriously injuring a 17-year-old Barre girl also in the vehicle.

    Derek Tucker, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court to one felony count of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury resulting.

    Under a plea agreement, the state is seeking a sentence of four to 12 years, all suspended, with one year to serve. Tuckerís attorney, Dan Maguire, will argue for a lesser penalty when Tucker is sentenced after a pre-sentence investigation.

    The state has dropped a charge of gross negligent operation with serious bodily injury resulting and a charge of driving over the legal limit with serious bodily injury resulting, both felonies.

    Tucker had been arraigned in October.

    According to the police affidavit, officers went to a rollover crash on Prospect Street shortly before noon Oct. 18, 2012. Three people were in the vehicle: Tucker, Seth Perry and Emma Farina. All three were taken to Central Vermont Medical Center with injuries, and police say Farina was later taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care because she was in critical condition.

    Police say the vehicle had been moving about 20 mph over the speed limit at the time of the crash. The vehicle also had bald tires and low brake fluid, and the left front brakes had no brake pads, police say.

    While he was being treated at the hospital, police say, a sample of Tuckerís blood was taken and it showed he had marijuana in his system and his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.113 percent, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

    Police spoke with the owner of the vehicle, Tammy Eaborn, who told them she had let Tucker use her vehicle but warned him the brakes werenít good.

    Police say Perry told them he had been in the back seat and went through the windshield when the vehicle rolled over. He told police the vehicle hit a pothole that caused it to roll.

    Police say Farina suffered a traumatic brain injury and doesnít remember what happened or anything else from the two weeks before the crash. She had a broken right collar bone, broken tailbone, stitches in her foot, and multiple cuts and bruises, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Tucker has prior convictions of disorderly conduct, with the last occurring in May 2013, and two other convictions in 2011.

    eric.blaisdell

    @timesargus.com

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