ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) - A Columbia man was sentenced to 18 months in jail after his conviction on two counts of automobile manslaughter.
Joseph Gary Lawrence, 23, entered Alford pleas in the case at a hearing on April 11.
Lawrence was at the wheel of a Saturn on westbound Route 175 near Tamar Dr. the morning of November 10, 2010. His car crossed into the median strip and collided head on with a Caravan and a third vehicle hit the van and a fourth was damaged by debris.
The front passenger in Lawrence's Saturn, 22-year-old Matthew Miranda was ejected in the crash and pronounced dead at the hospital.
The driver of the Caravan, Urooj Zehra Isfahani, 35, was also transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. Both Lawrence and the driver of the third vehicle were take to Shock Trauma.
Sr. Assistant State's Attorney Claude deVastey-Jones called the collision "catastrophic" at the sentencing hearing. She told the court that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in the crash, but speed an failure to control his vehicle factors.
At this morning's hearing, Lawrence turned to the courtroom and tearfully apologized> "I'll never forgive myself," he said.
Lawrence was sentenced to five years in jail, but a judge suspended all but 18 months. Lawrence was also sentenced to 5 years of probation following his release.
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