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Jury Convicts Driver in Crash that Killed One, Injured Two Others

The defendant initially told police that she was coming from work as a hairdresser.

Jury Convicts Driver in Crash that Killed One, Injured Two Others
A Norfolk Superior Court jury Monday, June 30,  convicted the drunk driver who crashed into another car on Route 24 in Stoughton, killing an Easton woman and severely injuring a Sharon couple, according to District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.

Patricia Neville-Colp, 51, a Randolph hairdresser who lives in Bridgewater, was convicted of Motor Vehicle Homicide while Operating Under the Influence, two counts of Operating Under the Influence causing Serious Bodily Injury and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. She will be sentenced July 15, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Norfolk Superior Court. The jury deliberated 2 ½ days before returning the verdicts.

Maureen Ellis was 57 when she was killed. She had been out with her sister and sister's husband, commemorating the birthday of her late husband when Neville-Colp entered the highway and t-boned their car. The first Trooper who came upon the scene reported smelling alcohol on Neville-Colp's breath, observing bloodshot, glassy eyes, thick-tongued speech and testified that she was swaying and failing to follow directions during field sobriety tests.

The husband and wife were transported to Boston Medical Center with serious injuries. Ellis sustained massive head and lower body trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash occurred at roughly 11:11 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2011.

"The defendant initially told police that she was coming from work as a hairdresser. She subsequently stated that she had gone to a local VFW and was drinking before entering the highway to drive home to Bridgewater."

Neville-Colp submitted to a Breathalyzer test more than an hour after the crash. She was incapable of blowing a sufficient sample of air into the machine on her first five attempts. Eventually, she was able to provide a sample that measured her alcohol level to be .13; the legal limit in Massachusetts is .08. An inventory search of her vehicle following her arrest also revealed a partially burnt marijuana cigarette by the driver's left foot.

"The State Police investigation, both by the responding Trooper and the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section was very strong. Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally and Victim/Witness Advocate Lynne Cipullo did good work at trial," District Attorney Morrissey said.

"This was an awful crash, with terrible, painful injuries and trauma," District Attorney Morrissey said. "All entirely preventable. All caused by the decision to drink and then drive."

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