Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, December 5, 2016, Nicole Smith, 27, of Bloomingburg, was sentenced to five to fifteen years in state prison in connection with the death of her two-year-old son, who was killed when the car that Smith was driving struck a tree.
On August 29, 2016, Smith pleaded guilty to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. At that time Smith admitted to Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown that on March 19, 2016, she drove her car recklessly while under the influence of Methadone and Xanax. Smith had attempted to pass another vehicle on Route 17K in Montgomery by crossing over the double yellow line. Smith’s car hit the other vehicle, causing Smith’s car to go off the roadway, hit an embankment on the side of the road, and strike a tree. As a result, Smith’s two-year-old son was ejected from the car and killed. The car seat that Smith’s son was in was not belted into the vehicle properly and was ejected from the vehicle with the two-year-old in it.
The plea to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide was taken pursuant to subdivision 7 of Penal Law Section 125.14, which became effective in December, 2009, as part of the Child Passenger Protection Act known as Leandra’s Law. The section concerns the death of a passenger under the age of 15 when the driver is impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. The plea marked the first time there has been a plea under that subdivision in Orange County.
The case was investigated by the Town of Montgomery Police Department with the assistance of the Accident Reconstruction Unit of the New York State Police.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Montgomery Police Department and the New York State Police for their thorough and professional investigation of the case.
“I can think of no more tragic circumstance than a mother killing her own son,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The sentence of five to fifteen years that this defendant received was just. This child’s death was as preventable as it was tragic. The occupants of the other vehicle narrowly avoided a collision that could have caused further deaths or serious physical injuries. My office will continue to seek severe punishment of those who endanger or kill others by driving while they know they are impaired by drugs or alcohol.”
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorneys Kerry Kolek and Steven Goldberg who had prosecuted the case.