FARMINGTON — A driver involved in a 2009 Wilton crash in which a Jay woman died was sentenced Wednesday according to a plea agreement.

Richard Greco, 61, of Dixfield, who was believed to be affected by prescription drugs at the time of the crash, received two years at the Department of Corrections with all but 90 days suspended and two years probation. As part of the agreement in Franklin County Superior Court, he will sign a release for probation officials to monitor his prescription drugs and he cannot drive a motor vehicle. The court also intends to petition the Department of Motor Vehicles to permanently revoke his driver’s license.

Greco was driving a pickup truck on Routes 2 and 4 near the Dutch Treat on the afternoon of March 27, 2009, when his vehicle struck head-on a Chevrolet driven by Shawn Hiscock, 31, of Jay. Hiscock’s front seat passenger, Avis Pettengill, 73, of Jay, was pronounced dead at the scene. Hiscock’s wife, Heather, and two sons, Jordan and Isaac, were riding in the back seat.

Hiscock received multiple leg fractures, requiring two surgeries with a third scheduled. He has suffered pain since, Todd Hiscock, his father, told the court. The grandchildren recovered physically but had to overcome a fear of riding in a vehicle, he said.

A grand jury indicted Greco on three charges, manslaughter and two counts of criminal driving under the influence, Justice Michaela Murphy stated.

After considering the burden of proof for a trial, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews sought a fourth felony charge of reckless conduct, punishable by up to five years, on which the agreement was made. The three previous charges were dismissed in the agreement.

Blood samples taken from Greco after the crash revealed no alcohol but did text positive for a combination of prescription drugs including methadone, oxycodone and others. He had two prescriptions filled at Togus Veterans Hospital earlier that day. One bottle was full and one oxycodone was taken from the other, Walter Hanstein, his defense attorney, said.

A witness to the crash said Greco veered into the opposite lane, corrected and crossed the line again. He didn’t brake, making the witness think he had fallen asleep or had a medical condition.

It appears Greco fell asleep and crossed the line but there’s no explanation for the way it happened, Hanstein said.

After listening to Pettengill’s family members plead for the court to not accept the agreement, Hanstein acknowledged the family’s pain but stated, “this was an accident.”

Greco joined the Army at age 17 and was injured during his service. He followed the directions of his doctors at Togus. He wasn’t abusing drugs. It would be easier to understand if he had just come from a bar or bought recreational drugs, Hanstein said.

Greco told the justice that he never misused his medication. He wanted this over and not to put himself or Pettengill’s family through a trial.

“When I saw them put the blanket over her … I still dream about it but I can’t bring her back,” he said.

Andrews responded that it was not a “pure accident but a gray area between negligence and recklessness” with only a 50/50 shot for conviction at trial.

Justice Murphy agreed a criminal case would be an uphill battle but added that driving while taking powerful drugs, even prescription drugs, violates the law.

She told the family her acceptance of the plea agreement was no reflection on the value of Pettengill’s life.

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