FOND DU LAC CO. — Carly Ottery, the teenage driver charged in a crash that killed three Campbellsport High School students back in February was sentenced Monday, November 5th.
19-year-old Ottery received a sentence of one year in Huber, and six years of probation. Ottery pleaded no contest to three counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.
Ottery faced up to 30 years in jail.
The crash happened just north of Highway 67 in the Township of Ashford on February 4th. Sabrina Stahl, Katie Berg and Caitlin Scannell all died from their injuries. Ottery and five other students were hurt.
The Fond du Lac County Sheriff said in February that speed and failure to wear seat belts were factors in the crash. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in this crash.
A crash reconstruction expert estimated the Chevy Tahoe was traveling between 103 and 109 miles per hour at time when Ottery lost control of the vehicle.
Minutes after the crash, Ottery is said to have told a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputy she hit a “dip” on Beechnut Road that “makes your belly drop” before the vehicle became airborne.
Ottery is also alleged to have said her speed caused her to lose control of the Tahoe, saying “I was driving fast because it was cool,” adding that she was a “stupid (expletive) teenager.” Ottery also allegedly said the passengers “weren’t wearing their seat belts, and that’s why they flew so (expletive) far out of the car.”
In court on Monday, there were so many who wanted to speak about the crash and its impact that the sentencing hearing took nearly the entire day. The courtroom was filled with people wearing pink, purple and coral — the favorite colors of those killed in the horrific February crash.
Many wrote letters to the judge — enough to fill four binders and folders.
Theresa Flood, who was one of those injured in the crash, asked that Ottery not go to jail.
“It’s not right one person should be punished for an accident that could have been avoided by any of us with a simple command to slow down,” Flood said.
Meanwhile, the families of those killed asked that Ottery receive jail time.
“We do not give a darn if some of those girls were yelling ‘go faster’ or not. Only Ms. Ottery was behind the wheel,” Judy Erdman said.
Ottery did not speak in court Monday. Her lawyer said he told her not to. However, Ottery’s mother did speak.
“No one condoned what happened. Many of us were feeling ‘but for the grace of God, go I,'” Ottery’s mother said.
While both Ottery’s lawyer and the prosecution recommended probation for Ottery, the judge said jail time was needed for a crash so horrific.
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