Driver changes plea in fatal DUI crash
FALL RIVER, Mass. —
A Rhode Island man accused in a drinking and driving accident in 2012 that killed a woman changed his plea to guilty in court Tuesday.
Jason Kwolek, 33, of Pawtucket, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Fall River Superior Court. He's scheduled to be sentenced on April 25.
Police said Kwolek's SUV crossed the center line on Route 152 in Attleboro and crashed head on into an oncoming vehicle driven by 24-year-old Kaisha Guerrini.
Kwolek told a judge that he caused the crash and fled the accident leaving her trapped in her vehicle still alive.
Guerrini was rushed to the hospital after the accident, but she died two hours later. She had just been promoted to sergeant after six years of service in the Massachusetts National Guard.
"It's one of those things where you're always going to wonder. I'm always going to wonder what went on in those two hours. It's something that tears at my heart," said Tina Guerrini, Kaisha's mother.
Tina Guerrini was asked to explain how her daughter's death has impacted her life. Fighting through tears, she couldn't think of any part of her that hasn't been devastated by the crash.
"From the moment I was told she was gone, I've been fighting for her," she said.
The maximum penalty for vehicular manslaughter in Massachusetts is 20 years. Prosecutors recommended that Kwolek serve five to seven years in prison.
Guerrini's family thinks he should be behind bars for life.
"She was killed by a drunk driver, and he gets five years? There are people in jail for drugs serving 10, life even," said James Guerrini, Kaisha's father.
Kaisha's family said they knew they might lose her someday. She was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.
"She wanted to go to Afghanistan to fight for everybody's freedom and it's ironic that someone she would have given her life for, took hers," Kaisha's godmother said.