Driver Gets 3 Years In Fatal Accident

Tabitha Dobrzynski

SALISBURY — A Pennsylvania woman, convicted in December of criminally negligent manslaughter and other charges for the death of her 11-year-old daughter during a motor vehicle accident on the Route 13 bypass in Salisbury in August 2012, was sentenced last week to three years in jail.

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 on which 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 last July.

In December, 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. Back in court last Thursday, Dobrznyski was sentenced to three years for the manslaughter conviction and six months for each of the driving under the influence of drugs counts, which she will serve concurrently.