Nice to see Frank Tatusko can take a beat down
Effort man gets jail for fatal accident
By ANDREW SCOTT
Pocono Record Writer
An Effort man was sentenced Monday to 22 to 52 months in Monroe County Correctional Facility after pleading guilty to killing a Stroudsburg man in Effort in 2004 while driving drunk underage with a suspended license.
Christopher Van icky, 21, the son of a retired New York police officer and New York paramedic, apologized before being sentenced by county Judge Jerome Cheslock as his family looked on.
"I never meant to hurt anyone," said Vanicky, who was charged also with simple assault against a volunteer firefighter at the accident scene on Jan. 24, 2004.
Vanicky's 1999 Hyundai was heading south on Route 115 that day when he lost control while going around a curve, crossed into the oncoming lane and struck head-on a 1995 Toyota driven by Darryl Ball, 52, police said.
Ball was pronounced dead at the scene.
His common-law wife's daughter, Jennifer Jeppson, 15, and his daughter, Shannon Ball, 10, were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital. His son, Drew Ball, 15, was taken to Pocono Medical Center.
Firefighters had to extricate Vanicky and his passenger, Travis Koehler, 19, of Effort, both of whom were also flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Vanicky reportedly assaulted a West End firefighter while being pulled from his vehicle.
"I believe Christopher reacted that way because of the concussion he suffered during the accident," Defense Attorney John Waldron said Monday, requesting the judge take Vanicky's relatively clean background into consideration.
"I don't believe he would have acted that way otherwise," said Waldron.
Esther Jeppson, Ball's common-law wife, read a statement to the court, saying she has suffered emotionally and financially and asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence on Vanicky.
"Nothing could compensate for the void left in my heart and in the hearts of Darryl's four children," Jeppson said in her statement.
Cheslock agreed with Assistant District Attorney Mark Matthews that aggravating factors in this case warranted a stiffer sentence.
Those factors included the underage Vanicky driving drunk with a suspended license and having a blood alcohol content of 0.25--three times the legal limit.
Also considered were the three children injured.
Cheslock imposed a consecutive sentence for each charge, totaling 22 months minus a day to 52 months minus a day.
"These kinds of cases are always very distressing," the judge said.
"Nothing we can do can replace a life lost."