Woman jailed for fatal crash
nLicense had been suspended for three DUI-related convictions. BY BRETT HAMBRIGHT, Staff Writer
Because her license had already been suspended for numerous DUI convictions, Mackenzie Dantinne had no business being behind the wheel on Nov. 30, a Lancaster County judge said Wednesday.
The judge ordered Dantinne to spend up to 23 months behind bars for causing a head-on collision that killed 31-year-old Josh DeGeorge.
Dantinne, 24, was not drinking prior to the afternoon crash, but her license had been suspended through 2019 because of three previous DUI-related charges, according to court testimony.
"We feel she has made a mockery of the court," Steve DeGeorge, Josh's father, told Judge Dennis Reinaker at her sentencing. "Just read the record for yourself.
"You could give her as many years as you can and it's not going to change anything. She's still going to wake up every morning in prison. Her life's going to go on."
DeGeorge's survivors scoffed when the 9-to-23-month sentence was announced. Dantinne also will get credit for time she's already served, about half of the 9-month minimum sentence.
Police charged Dantinne with causing a fatal crash while driving under suspension, a third-degree felony. A more serious charge of homicide by vehicle wasn't applicable in the case, police decided.
Also, Dantinne had no alcohol in her system at the time of the crash in the 3200 block of Charlestown Road in Manor Township.
"Fortunately, you weren't drinking," Reinaker told Dantinne, a short woman in pigtails, wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt. "I could certainly give you a state prison sentence. I'm giving you a chance to make some good of this."
Reinaker's sentence, which includes a consecutive 5-year probation term, was in accord with state guidelines for the felony charge.
He also ordered that Dantinne not drink or drive during the entire supervision period, about six-and-a-half years. She also must perform 500 hours of community service.
Defense lawyer Douglas Cody said his client has "no excuse and no explanation" for what happened.
"She doesn't remember the accident," Cody said. "It's sort of unexplainable."
Cody said his client suffered a permanent brain injury in the crash. Dantinne spent several weeks in hospitals before being committed to Lancaster County Prison.
A motorist who was behind Dantinne's SUV told police she wasn't speeding or driving erratically prior to the crash, according to testimony. The SUV hit DeGeorge's vehicle seven feet into his lane of traffic, according to court testimony.
"She wasn't in a hurry or swerving," Cody told the judge. "She wasn't texting."
Among her prior arrests was a DUI crash in 2009, in which her blood-alcohol content was measured at .20 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit.
Dantinne cried throughout the hourlong hearing Wednesday and could barely speak.
"I'm sorry to the DeGeorge family for their loss and for my decision to drive that day," Dantinne said.
Dantinne, a 2006 Penn Manor High School graduate, was a star soccer player there, helping her team win a state championship in 2005.
She was due to graduate this spring from Millersville University, Cody told the judge.
"Maybe she'll wake up, maybe this will wake her up," Steve DeGeorge told the judge. He asked for the maximum sentence.