Judge sentences midstate man to up to 50 years in fatal DUI crash

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 30, 2015 1:01 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

(Lancaster) --  A midstate man who pleaded guilty in a drunken-driving crash that killed a recent high school graduate in Lancaster County has been sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison.  

29-year-old Thomas Gallagher Jr. of New Providence was sentenced Wednesday in Lancaster County Court.  

LNP reports the punishment is believed to be the longest prison term ever ordered in the county for a fatal DUI crash. 

Gallagher pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, driving under the influence and related counts in the July 8 crash that killed 18-year-old Meredith Demko. 

He apologized to the victim's family and friends but said he was "not the monster'' he had been portrayed as in news coverage. 

Prosecutors say tests indicated Gallagher's blood-alcohol level was about three times the state's legal limit for driving.

They say he was a repeat DUI offender who acknowledged having consumed vodka and used heroin before the crash. 

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