Prison for East Berlin woman who caused double-fatal 2016 crash
An Adams County woman must spend about a year in York County Prison for causing a 2016 crash in northern York County that killed a mother and her adult daughter.
Marissa Danielle Chance, 37, of East Berlin, was sentenced in York County Court on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to a year minus one day to two years minus two days in prison, according to court records.
She must report to prison March 25 and was ordered to pay about $6,000 in restitution, defense attorney Ron Gross said.
"It's a tragedy all the way around," he said. "Two people lost their lives in a traffic accident."
Chance pleaded guilty Dec. 31 to two counts of causing an accident involving death or injury while not properly licensed. The offenses are third-degree felonies.
She also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, according to court records.
State police said Chance caused a crash in Washington Township on Aug. 18, 2016, that killed Arlene Fulk, 84, and Mary Fredorick, 53, both of Hazleton, Luzerne County.
Fredorick and Fulk were passengers in a Kia Forte that was stopped in the southbound lane of Baltimore Pike, trying to turn left onto Bermudian Church Road, according to police.
Looked away: Chance, who was behind the Kia, took her eyes off the road to place a beverage back into a cup holder and struck the Kia, police said.
The impact cause the Kia to rotate counterclockwise and go into the northbound lane of travel, where it was struck by a northbound Ford F-150 pickup truck, according to court documents.
It was then pushed into a Mercury Cougar that was stopped and waiting to turn onto Baltimore Pike, police said.
The drivers of the Ford F-150 and the Mercury Cougar escaped injury, police said.
Fulk was in the back seat and wasn't wearing a seat belt; Fredorick was in the front passenger seat and was wearing a seat belt, according to officials.
Fredorick's husband, who was driving the Kia, suffered minor injuries, police said.
Chance was driving with a suspended license and no insurance on her car, police said, and a blood test showed Chance had marijuana in her system.
A crash reconstruction determined Chance was driving 19 mph when she hit the Kia, while the northbound Ford F-150 was going about 48 mph when it struck the Kia, officials said.
Gross said the marijuana in Chance's system wasn't the "proximate cause" of the crash.
No driver's license: He also said the outcome of her case might have been different, had she been properly licensed at the time.
"Her license had been suspended because of an accident when she was a late teen," Gross said. "She'd been paying on it. But as time went on, her payments fell off."
Because she was behind on payments, Chance couldn't get her license reinstated, her attorney said.
"She made a decision: Either drive and feed her kids, or not drive," Gross said.
He said the evidence showed that Chance swerved at the last minute when she realized she was about to rear-end the Kia, but it was too late.
"We were hoping for a shorter prison sentence, but with house arrest," Gross said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.