Herkimer County Court Judge Patrick Kirk sentenced Roy Kangas to 7 to 14 years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated.
Authorities say Kangas was coming from Mr.McGill’s bar on Route 5 and driving along Dyke Road when he crossed lanes, striking and killing 34 year-old Terry Kohl. Kohl worked as an off-duty security guard at Mohawk Valley Community College.
At the time of the crash, Kohl was driving home from work. Members of Kohl’s family spoke in court on Thursday, making for what Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter calls “an emotional sentencing, to say the least.”
“Drinking and driving is preventable and all it takes is for you to think about that decision…to do that, and you could spare someone’s life and other people a lot of pain and anguish,” said Kohl’s wife of eight years Gina Kohl. “In my opinion, it’s never enough. Nothing could bring Terry back.”
Kangas’ blood alcohol content level was 0.23 percent at the time of the deadly crash, nearly three times the legal limit.
Kohl leaves his wife of eight years as well as a five year old daughter.
Roy Kangas had no previous alcohol charges, and at the time of the accident, was on probation for burglary in Oneida County. He left Herkimer County Court on Thursday and headed back to Oneida County Correctional Facility, until he is later sent to state prison
Man pleads guilty in death of Mohawk Valley Community College security officer www.privateofficer.com
HERKIMER NY Sept 23 2011 — Although he doesn’t remember the crash in Frankfort that killed a security guard at Mohawk Valley Community College one year ago this month, Roy Kangas admitted in court Wednesday that he was driving drunk at the time of the deadly collision.
Kangas, 23, of Rome, pleaded guilty in Herkimer County Court to aggravated first-degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. He faces 7 to 14 years in prison when he is due to be sentenced by Judge Patrick Kirk on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m.
Kangas had appeared in court Wednesday for what was supposed to be a hearing over whether police took a sample of blood from Kangas to test for alcohol without his permission following the Sept. 10, 2010, car crash that killed 34-year-old Terry Kohl.
But after prosecutors spoke with Kohl’s family at the court house that morning, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter said both sides agreed that a guilty plea would be in everyone’s best interest.
“I think it’s a just result for both parties given the facts and circumstances of the case,” Carpenter said after the proceeding, particularly noting the debate over whether police had legally taken Kangas’ blood. “We were at the point in time where we were going to litigate these issues, which obviously would have affected the bargaining position for one side or the other, depending on the outcome of the hearing.”
Kangas’ defense attorney, Mark Curley, could not immediately be reached for comment.
During his plea, Kangas admitted he first began drinking that night while at work for a trucking company before continuing to drink beer and shots at Mr. McGill’s bar on Route 5 in Schuyler, Carpenter said.
With Kangas’ blood alcohol content level at 0.23 percent – nearly three times the legal limit – the last thing he can recall was driving along Dyke Road in Frankfort, Carpenter said. But as far as the deadly accident, Kangas said he doesn’t remember it at all.
Kangas is also facing 2 to 6 years in prison when he is sentenced in Oneida County Court for violating his probation by not reporting the deadly car accident while outside of the county.
After talking with Kohl’s family members about the plea, Carpenter did not want to discuss their reaction to the punishment Kangas would face.
“It’s been difficult for them, to say the least,” Carpenter said. “I don’t want to speak for them on whether they are satisfied because I don’t think there’s anything that can completely resolve the case when you have a tragedy like this.”
HERKIMER NY Jan 19 2011 — A 23-year-old Rome man has been charged in connection with an alcohol-related head-on crash in Frankfort last September that killed a Mohawk Valley Community College security guard.
Roy Kangas was indicted on a sealed-indictment in Herkimer County Court Tuesday on 11 charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree and second-degree vehicular manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors said.
Kangas also faces various misdemeanors and violations, including: aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by marijuana and the drug Diazepam, driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, reckless driving, and speed not reasonable and prudent, prosecutors said.
Kangas was arraigned without an attorney Tuesday, and Judge Patrick Kirk will arrange for Kangas to appear in court with an assigned attorney at a later date, Herkimer County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter said.
These are the first charges that Kangas has faced in connection with the Sept. 10, 2010, accident on Dyke Road that killed 34-year-old Terry Kohl, of Utica, at about 11 p.m.
Following an accident reconstruction investigation by the Frankfort Town Police and state police, it was determined that Kangas’ blood alcohol content level was 0.23 percent – nearly three times the legal limit – when he got behind the wheel, prosecutors said.
After leaving Mr. McGill’s bar in Schuyler, Kangas drove about a mile and a half before colliding with Kohl’s vehicle, Frankfort town police Officer in Charge James Getman Jr.
Since the fatal crash, Kangas has been held at the Oneida County jail without bail on a probation violation for drinking alcohol before driving a motor vehicle that night, officials have said.
Kohl had left work at MVCC just six minutes before the collision, Getman said. Because Kohl was a public servant as a security guard, Getman said he was saddened by the Kohl’s death.
Whether or not Kangas is convicted, Getman said Kangas’ role in the deadly crash should weigh heavily on Kangas.
“Mr. Kangas will forever be behind the bars of his conscience that will be put up in his mind for the horrible mistake of taking the life of another person,” Getman said. “This will forever haunt him, and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life.”