Mom Convicted Of Negligent Manslaughter In Salisbury Crash

Mom Convicted Of Negligent Manslaughter In Salisbury Crash
Tabitha Dobrzynski

SALISBURY — A Pennsylvania woman charged in July in the death of her 11-year-old daughter during a motor vehicle accident on the Route 13 bypass in Salisbury last year was found guilty this week of criminally negligent manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs, among other charges, and now awaits her fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
On Aug. 5, 2012, Maryland State Police responded to a single-vehicle accident on the Route 13 bypass near Salisbury. The investigation revealed a 2004 Jeep Wrangler had veered across the lanes of the highway and across the shoulder before rolling several times. The vehicle was driven by Tabitha Dobrzynski, now 39, of New Kensington, Pa., and also included the driver’s three young children.
One of the children, an 11-year-old daughter, was ejected from the middle area of the Jeep’s back seat and ultimately died of injuries sustained in the crash. It was later learned the 11-year-old victim was not restrained by a safety belt. The other children, as well as Dobrzynski, were not seriously injured in the crash.
According to police reports, Dobrzynski appeared impaired at the crash scene and remembered little about the wreck. She was also confused about where she was going and where she was coming from. At first, she told police she was heading from West Virginia to Pennsylvania. When questioned further, she told police she was heading to Ocean City.
The investigation revealed Dobrzynski was under the influence of at least four different prescription medicines including vicodin, oxycodone, Prozac and soma, a common muscle relaxer. Some of the medicines Dobrzynski was on at the time of the crash were discovered at the crash scene in their appropriate prescription bottles, while others were not.
Dobrzynski was charged originally with negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle while impaired by controlled dangerous substances, causing life-threatening injuries by motor vehicle while impaired and numerous traffic violations. Last January, those charges were dropped when a blood test administered by the Maryland State Police crime lab came back negative for oxycodone and benzodiazepine. However, Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello vowed to continue to pursue the case and had a private company analyze the blood.
The private company tested for substances not included in the standard MSP testing protocol and the results came back positive. Maciarello then presented the case to the grand jury, which handed down the 15-count indictment in July. On Monday, Dobrzynski was found guilty after a bench trial in Wicomico County Circuit Court of criminally negligent manslaughter, four counts of driving while impaired by drugs while transporting a minor, negligent driving and a seatbelt violation. Sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation, but Wicomico State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello said this week the state will likely seek the maximum along with other conditions.
“She is facing approximately six and a half years,” he said. “We are awaiting the pre-sentence investigation to help us determine the appropriate sentence. We are also very interested in making drug treatment a condition of any probation that she might receive. If she does not get treatment, she will certainly be a public safety risk when she is released.”