Amber Smith appears in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Friday for sentencing on a manslaughter charge stemming from a crash with a pedestrian last summer in Turner. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal

AUBURN — A Sabattus woman was sentenced Friday to spend 11 years of a 19-year sentence in prison stemming from a crash last year that killed a pedestrian in Turner.

Amber Smith, 37, pleaded guilty Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court to an accident involving serious bodily injury or death.

Based on evidence gathered at the crime scene and Smith’s statements to investigators, the 2012 Ford Explorer she was driving crossed the centerline of County Road in Turner in the morning of July 23, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador said Friday.

The SUV struck Tina White, 46, of Turner in the back as White walked northbound facing traffic on the shoulder of the road, obeying all traffic rules, Mador said.

A witness had described to an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s deputy sergeant a vehicle fitting the description of Smith’s SUV as having been operating in an “erratic manner” that morning near the crime scene.

A E-911 caller said a woman who appeared to be unconscious was lying on the side of the road. Emergency medical crews responded, declaring White dead at the scene.


The cause of White’s death was determined to be from multiple injuries she sustained from an automobile crash, Mador said.

A call from a cannabis store notified dispatchers that the driver of an SUV matching that description was parked in front of the store and appeared to be asleep behind the steering wheel.

Deputies who encountered Smith at the store said a crack pipe fell to the ground when she got out of the SUV.

A drug recognition expert examined Smith and concluded she was impaired and under the influence of narcotics.

A blood sample later showed traces of fentanyl and cocaine in her system.

She told investigators she had smoked heroin that morning.


A reconstruction of the crash showed Smith had been travelling between 21 and 26 mph, Mador said.

Investigators noted damage to the left front of the SUV Smith was driving. DNA samples taken from the damaged hood area of the SUV matched White’s DNA, Mador said.

White’s husband spoke at Smith’s sentencing Friday.

“You took the life of a very loving, caring, honoring person that walked on this earth,” he said.

White was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend, he said.

She had taken into her home children and cared for them, he said.


“I hope that some day you can come to know Jesus Christ, our Lord, so I’m leaving you with this Bible,” he said tossing the book on a table in the courtroom.

Smith declined to speak at her sentencing.

Roughly a dozen people supporting the victim and her family filled the courtroom, including members of her religious congregation, the judge noted.

Although Smith was completely at fault for White’s death, Active-Retired Justice Paul Fritzsche said Friday that while the incident was “horrible and inexcusable” there was “no indication that Ms. Smith ever wanted to hurt somebody … what was intentional was her decision to consume drugs and then her decision to drive after consuming the drugs at a time when her license to operate had been revoked.”

He quoted a Jewish expression to White’s family and friends: “May her memory be a blessing.”

Smith will be on probation for four years after her release from prison, during which time she will be barred from having any alcohol, illegal drugs or marijuana for which she can be tested at random.

She must undergo substance abuse counseling and may not have contact with the victim’s family.

“There will be a lifetime prohibition on driving,” between the court’s probation terms and administrative actions to be taken by the state, Fritzsche said, “which is fully appropriate.”

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