Last August, a Providence man staying in a Wrentham, Mass., motel because his marriage was failing drank about 10 beers and a liter of vodka and then climbed into his Ford Thunderbird in search of more alcohol. As Steven A. Esterly traveled south on Route 1, he slammed into a van carrying a mother and her three children, terrifying the family. Fleeing the crash in his car, he struck and seriously injured Donnie Lee, 46, as Lee walked across the road in a crosswalk. The Boston Globe today details the ruined lives that resulted.
Lee’s family watched in court yesterday as Esterly, 51, pleaded guilty to four charges, including DUI, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Lee, a long-haul trucker, is now a quadriplegic. He was hit so hard he bit off much of his tongue and as a result is unable to speak. Esterly’s lawyer said the man was so upset over the devastation he caused that he tried to kill himself about three months after the accident.