LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) – A Newburyport man was sentenced to 31/2 years in jail on Friday after pleading guilty to driving drunk on the night he struck a teenage girl who died two days later.

William White, 20, pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and related charges in connection with the January 2003 death of 16-year-old Trista Zinck.

White was sentenced to 21/2 years in jail on the motor vehicle homicide charge and one year to be served consecutively on two charges of leaving the scene of an accident.

He was also sentenced to five years probation after his jail term, during which time he was ordered not to use drugs or alcohol, to participate in an alcohol treatment program, and to perform 1,500 hours of community service.

White and a friend, Brendan Kneram, drank a large amount of alcohol on the afternoon and early evening of Zinck’s death, prosecutors said. White was behind the wheel when his Chevrolet Blazer struck Zinck and Neil Bornstein from behind while they were walking on Ferry Road in Newburyport, prosecutors said.

White left the scene, rolled his vehicle a short time later, and fled on food after being helped from his SUV by an off-duty firefighter. He was arrested later that night, and a Breathalyzer test found he was well over the legal limit for driving.

Bornstein, 17 at the time he was struck, survived but suffered leg and head injuries and still suffers from memory loss, prosecutors said.

Kneram, 20, pleaded guilty to a charge of buying alcohol for a minor for using a fake ID at a Seabrook, N.H. convenience store, where he bought the 30-pack of beer he and White drank the day Zinck was struck. He was sentenced last May to one year in jail, with six months suspended, but is free on probation pending an appeal.

AP-ES-04-09-04 1955EDT

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