A Sullivan County woman who pleaded no contest earlier this year to drunken driving and causing an accident that resulted in the death of a retired educator and football coach will spend at last four years in state prison.
Tresa Glassmyre, 36, of Eagles Mere, received the mandatory sentence of at least three years for homicide by vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants and a consecutive one-year sentence for aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence in Lycoming County Court last Friday.
In handing down the sentence before a packed courtroom, Judge Kenneth Brown said he hoped the message has been made clear that drunken driving resulting in injuries or death sends a deterrent to potential offenders.
What Glassmyre did on July 22, 2007, he noted, was not just an accident or act of negligence, he said.
In pleading no contest in September 2008, Glassmyre made no admission to guilt, but rather, did not dispute the facts brought by the district attorney.
Brown gave a brief account of the accident, noting that Glassmyre was driving north on Route 220 in Penn Township, Lycoming County, at a high rate of speed when her car swerved into the southbound lane and struck a vehicle driven by George Nace, 71.
Nace was killed instantly in the crash. His wife, Helen, a passenger in the vehicle, sustained injuries in the accident. A cyclist driving behind Nace’s vehicle, David Vincent of Milton, was also injured, along with a passenger, Karen Blackledge.
Before the sentence was handed down, Lycoming County Assistant District Attorney Mary C. Kilgus requested that Glassmyre receive up to five years for the count of homicide by vehicle and an additional 1 1/2 years for aggravated assault by vehicle.
She called the accident a preventable one caused by a negligent and wanton act.
She said that Glassmyre showed no remorse for victims at the accident scene and had long maintained she had not been drinking that day.
Glassmyre’s attorney, George Lepley, maintained that she delayed pleading no contest because she never recalled the accident.
He noted Glassmyre’s caring and selfless acts on behalf of family and friends.
“What she did before the accident speaks more to her character,” he said. “We are just asking the court to take into consideration those other things. She’s not somebody who had led a less than constructive life.”
A tearful Glassmyre briefly spoke. Turning to face members of the Nace family, she said she was sorry for her “selfish” act.
“I can’t even imagine what you have to go through every day,” she said. “If I could trade places with Mr. Nace, I would.”
A number of people testified on behalf of Glassmyre’s character, among them, her husband, Bob Glassmyre.
He noted that she was always reaching out to other people.
“She a huge heart,” he said. “We’ve all been blessed to know her.”
Others, including Nace family members, spoke of the emotional anguish they’ve endured.
A son, Kevin Nace, said no sentence will replace the loss he feels.
“My father was a tremendous man. He touched a lot of lives.”
He said the family never received an apology from Glassmyre until Friday in the courtroom.
“A lot of us have a lot of anger,” he said.