BATAVIA, NY (WKBW) - 45-year-old Thomas Wallace of Ohio was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison Wednesday for the crash that claimed the life of a young mother.
"I know that there is nothing I can say to take away the pain in your hearts. As a husband, father, and grandfather myself, I can only imagine what you feel," said a tearful Wallace to the family of Julie Stratton in Genesee County Court Wednesday.
Wallace's tractor trailer struck the disabled vehicle of Julie Stratton along I-90 last December, killing the 33-year-old mother of two. At the time of the crash, Wallace was sleep deprived and streaming pornography on his laptop.
At Wednesday's sentencing, Julie's husband, mother, sister and father spoke of Julie's love of family and of giving to others. All four spoke of the void in their hearts and family with her gone.
Genesee County Court Judge Robert Noonan compared Wallace's action on that day to playing with a loaded gun. "Your conduct on that day was grossly, grossly irresponsible," added Judge Noonan.
Wallace will spend at least the next three years in state prison. Several family members also received orders of protection from Wallace, barring any contact from him for seventeen years.