Plea gets man jail term in drunken-driving incident $10,000 in restitution is part of agreement

July 26, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Bel Air man will be sentenced to six years in jail and pay $10,000 in restitution for a November 1991 drunken-driving accident that killed an 11-year-old girl.

Alan Boris Caudill, 34, entered a plea agreement for manslaughter by vehicle and driving while intoxicated after prosecutors presented a statement of facts during a Harford Circuit Court hearing Thursday.

As part of the agreement, Mr. Caudill is to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, with four years of the term to be suspended.

Mr. Caudill will be formally sentenced Sept. 2, pending a pre-sentence investigation by the county Parole and Probation Department.

After Thursday's proceedings, John P. Ashbridge, the father of the girl killed in the Nov. 10, 1991, accident called the agreement "semi-reasonable."

"I am satisfied that justice is being served, but nothing can be done to pay us for our daughter," said Mr. Ashbridge, of Darlington. "My daughter cannot be brought back. No penalty would be sufficient for my daughter."

Mr. Ashbridge, 44, said he preferred the plea agreement rather than the prosecution presenting the case to a trial jury, which could acquit Mr. Caudill of all charges.

According to a statement by Assistant State's Attorney Mark Nelson, Mr. Caudill was traveling south in the northbound lane of U.S. 1 in Hickory at a high speed.

His Dodge Ram pickup sideswiped a van driven by Charles L. Brockmeyer Jr., 42, of Forest Hill.

Mr. Caudill's pickup continued down the road and smashed head-on into a Ford Escort driven by Mr. Ashbridge, who was following Mr. Brockmeyer, Mr. Nelson said.

Mr. Ashbridge's daughter, Elizabeth, who was a sixth-grader at Southampton Middle School, was taken to Fallston General Hospital, where she died a short time later, the prosecutor said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ashbridge was flown to the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was treated for a head injury, two broken ankles and a broken femur, wrist and nose, he said.

He spent about five months in hospitals.

Mr. Caudill, who was not seriously injured, had a blood-alcohol content level of .30, Mr. Nelson said.

To be charged with driving while intoxicated, a motorist must have a blood-alcohol level of .10.

After the crash, Mr. Caudill was charged with homicide by vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving, negligent driving and failing to drive in the right lane.

Those charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

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