Drunken driver sentenced in death

August 20, 2008|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,Sun reporter

A Columbia man whose blood-alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit when he drove head-on into another car, killing a missionary and critically injuring her son, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison.

Jason Bukovsky, 32, pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to one count of negligent homicide in the death of Soon Youn Livingston, 53, of Severn.

Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner sentenced Bukovsky to 10 years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended. His past five months on house arrest with his sister in Carroll County will count toward his sentence.

Hackner also ordered Bukovsky to pay $9,000 in restitution to Thomas A. Livingston, the victim's husband; serve five years of supervised probation; and perform 50 hours of community service, speaking to youth and church groups about the dangers of drinking and driving.

"He essentially drank himself to a state where the average human being would have been incapacitated or dead," Hackner said. "The devastation he's caused is just unfathomable."

According to prosecutor Jennifer M. Alexander, Bukovsky was driving his 2000 Jeep Wrangler south on Aviation Boulevard in Glen Burnie about 2:30 p.m. Dec. 22 when he drifted off the right side of the road. He struck a guardrail and then cut sharply back across the southbound lanes and into oncoming traffic. He collided with Livingston's 1994 Honda Accord, which was then struck by a 2004 Dodge Ram truck.

Livingston, a fervent Christian who had traveled to such far-flung countries as Kazakhstan to perform missionary work, died at the scene. Her son, Thomas Alan Graham, 16, suffered a dislocated hip and fractures to his face.

About an hour after the accident, Bukovsky's blood-alcohol level registered .39, according to the prosecutor. In Maryland, a person with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher is considered intoxicated.

Bukovsky's defense attorney, David W. Fischer, described his client as "very remorseful." In a statement read by Fischer, Bukovsky apologized, said he would never drink again and that the family was "in my prayers."

In a statement read by the prosecutor, Thomas Livingston called his wife "the focal point of our family, an irreplaceable asset for her courage and faith."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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