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DA: Shirley man pleads guilty in death of motorist whose vehicle he struck at high speed

A Shirley man who killed a mother of three while driving drunk last year pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced Thursday.

Chris Montpetit, 36, is expected to be sentenced to 5-2/3 to 17 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 2, according to Sini.

"The victim’s loved ones, including her three young daughters, have endured an unimaginable tragedy because of this defendant’s decision to drive drunk," Sini said. "While nothing can undo the pain he has caused, today’s guilty plea holds him accountable for his actions."

Montpetit’s attorney, Michael Brown of Central Islip, said his client agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors to spare the victim's family the pain of a trial.

"Other than this incident, Chris has led an exemplary life," Brown said. "He accepts responsibility and wants to give the family closure."

According to police and prosecutors, Montpetit was driving a 2018 Jeep Cherokee north on County Route 83 in Farmingville at a high rate of speed in September 2020 when he struck the rear of 2015 Honda Civic, which had became disabled in the right lane and had its hazard lights on.

Erika Bautista, 31, of Farmingville, and two of her daughters, ages 4 and 8, were in the car and were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries. A third daughter, age 10, was also treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Bautista died of her injuries three weeks after the crash, Suffolk police said.

Montpetit refused to submit to a blood test after he was arrested. Prosecutors obtained a warrant to test Montpetit’s blood, which revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.28%, more than three times the legal limit.

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