Man gets jail time in fatal I-83 crash
A Maryland man's punishment won't end after he's released from prison for causing a crash two years ago on Interstate 83 that killed an elderly man.
Trent Loye Holderman, 33, of Arnold, Maryland, pleaded guilty Tuesday in York County Court to the third-degree felonies of homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault by vehicle, and he also pleaded guilty to the misdemeanors of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment.
As part of a negotiated plea agreement, he was sentenced to a year minus a day to two years minus two days in York County Prison, followed by seven years of probation, according to deputy prosecutor Justin Roberts.
The agreement also calls for Holderman to write an apology letter to the family of 86-year-old Carroll Shaffer of Parkton, Maryland, who was killed in the Nov. 8, 2014, crash.
Once released from prison, Holderman must submit to random drug testing, a mental-health evaluation and any recommended treatment, court records state.
Other requirements: Immediately after being paroled from prison, he must enter a long-term inpatient treatment facility, according to Roberts.
Then for six months after being released from inpatient treatment, Holderman must wear an alcohol-monitoring ankle cuff, court records state. He also was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service and pay court costs, Roberts said.
After Holderman is released from inpatient treatment, the York County Adult Probation Department must determine what treatment or services he still needs to keep him away from alcohol and drugs, the prosecutor said.
The plea agreement gives Holderman a chance to be a responsible citizen who doesn't endanger others again by driving under the influence, according to Roberts, who said Shaffer's family did not oppose the agreement.
"We're hoping he takes advantage of this and does the right thing," Roberts said. "Every morning he has to wake up and (acknowledge) what he did. His legacy is the legacy of the life he took."
Looking to the future: Holderman had been facing at least several years in state prison, and Roberts noted the decision to offer the plea agreement was a difficult one.
"But putting him in jail for a long time doesn't truly address his issues in the future," Roberts said, or do enough "to prevent this from happening again."
The prosecutor noted that if Holderman fails to stay clean and sober, or if he re-offends, it would violate his probation and parole and he could be sent to state prison — for up to the entire seven years of his probation.
Holderman apologized in court Tuesday to Shaffer's family.
"He's expressed remorse in the past, and he expressed remorse in the courtroom," Roberts said. "It felt sincere."
Defense attorney Justin McShane did not return a phone message seeking comment.
Deadly crash: Shortly before noon Nov. 8, 2014, police and emergency crews were called to the Market Street exit (Exit 19) of I-83 after Holderman's Ford F-150 crashed into a Cadillac DTS driven by Shaffer, according to police. Two other vehicles near the exit also were damaged, police said.
Trooper Rob Hicks, a state police spokesman until recently, said Holderman's pickup truck crashed into the other vehicles as they were stopped for traffic at the off-ramp.
"Traffic was stopped. It was backed up on that exit ramp," Hicks said at the time of the crash. "For some unknown reason, that fourth car didn't notice traffic stopping ... and rear-ended that first car. It caused a chain reaction."
Shaffer was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital shortly after the crash, officials said. He died of a blunt-force injury to the torso, according to the York County Coroner's Office.
One of Shaffer's adult daughters told police she and her parents were on their way to lunch and were waiting in traffic in the exit lane when the crash happened, court documents state.
Alcohol, drugs: Police said they could smell alcohol on Holderman, whose eyes were bloodshot and glassy and who failed a field sobriety test at the scene.
A blood test found alcohol, Xanax and THC, the active property in marijuana, in his system, documents state.
A crash reconstruction determined Holderman had been going 76 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Shaffer's wife, Nancy Shaffer, who had been in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac, suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and a back injury that required months of physical therapy, police have said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.