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Man sentenced in crash that killed Vermont woman

NEWPORT — A Massachusetts man who pleaded guilty to killing a Vermont woman in a drunken driving accident in Claremont earlier this year will serve at least five years in prison.

Luke Garlinger, 29, of Mansfield, Mass., was indicted on two negligent homicide charges, driving while intoxicated and high rate of speed, for causing the death of Shellie Blaisdell of Windsor, Vt. He was also indicted on the charge of second-degree assault for causing injuries, including broken arms, to the 13-year-old male passenger in Blaisdell's vehicle.

According to police, the collision occurred April 7 when a Toyota Tacoma pickup headed east on Main Street in Claremont suddenly veered into the opposite lane and hit the Pontiac minivan near the Tractor Supply Store on Main Street.

Blaisdell, who had been driving the minivan, died at Valley Regional Hospital as the result of injuries she suffered in the accident.

In Sullivan County Superior Court last week, Garlinger pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced to no less than five years in prison and no more than 15 years. His driver's license has been indefinitely revoked, and he has been ordered to participate in counseling.
Judge Brian T. Tucker also ordered Garlinger to make restitution of $1,425 to Blaisdell's family.

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