A veteran of the US Army who killed his best friend while driving drunk in Orange County will spend time behind bars.
Robert Higgins, 25, of Highland Mills, was sentenced in Orange County Court to a term of between one and two-third to five years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in October last year.
In addition to the prison sentence, Higgins’ driver’s license was revoked and he was fined $1,275.
Higgins was driving at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2017, on Route 32 in Woodbury when he struck a tractor-trailer, killing his passenger, North Carolina resident and fellow veteran Preston Jones, who was visiting Higgins in Orange County.
At the time of the crash, Higgins had a blood alcohol content of .22 percent, nearly triple the legal limit to get behind the wheel. He was indicted in March last year and violated the terms of his plea later last year in Nyack when he was arrested on a minor charge while awaiting sentencing, though he was not convicted.
“Fatalities which occur as the result of driving while intoxicated are as tragic as they are preventable,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said in a statement following Higgins’ arraignment last year. “Too many lives have been irreparably harmed by those who drive while intoxicated.”
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