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Vt. man pleads guilty in I-89 drunk driving crash that killed R.I. woman

December 07. 2017 2:24AM
Ellynn Koelsch of North Kingston, R.I., died in a car accident involving a drunk driver in Lebanon on May 25, 2016. She was a wife, mother and physical therapist in Rhode Island. (Performance Physical Therapy)

NORTH HAVERHILL — A Vermont man was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison, one year suspended, after pleading guilty Wednesday to negligent homicide and aggravated drunk driving in the crash that killed a Rhode Island woman on Interstate 89 in Lebanon last year.

Daniel Cowdrey, 40, of Hartland, Vt., was originally indicted on more serious charges, including manslaughter.

Ellynn Koelsch of Cranston, R.I., and her 4-year-old son was injured when Cowdrey drove the wrong way on I-89 on May 25, 2016. Cowdrey suffered minor injuries in the crash.

State prosecutors said Cowdrey had two scorpion bowls at a local restaurant and ignored advice from friends not to drive.

He was headed north in the southbound lane on I-89 when he struck one vehicle and collided head-on with Koelsch.

Grafton County Superior Court officials confirmed Koelsch’s widower, Adam, gave emotional testimony prior to the sentencing saying he didn’t want this event to end Cowdrey’s productive life.

Crime Lebanon

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