Long Island woman gets 3 to 6 years for running over neighbor while drunk

GARDEN CITY, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island woman was sentenced to three to six years in prison Wednesday for running over her neighbor while driving drunk.

Tara Guinnane, 49, pleaded guilty on January 25 to the top counts of aggravated vehicular assault, second-degree assault and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

She was driving drunk on Wilson Street in Garden City when she struck now 52-year-old Brian Gormley, who lived across the street from Guinnane, just after 6 p.m. on February 12, 2018.

Gormley, who has three children, was walking home from the train station at the time of the incident.

"Brian Gormley, a married father of three, had just gotten off the train from work and was walking home on his own street when his intoxicated neighbor changed his life forever," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. "This DWI defendant did not think about Mr. Gormley or any other innocent person who crossed her path. Brian Gormley will pay the price for this defendant's criminal decision for the rest of his life. There is simply no excuse for anyone to drive drunk."

Neighbors heard the collision and saw Guinnane and a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee near the injured victim. When Garden City police officers responded to the scene, they observed that Guinnane was intoxicated and found empty liquor bottles in her car.

She initially denied striking the victim.

Two hours after the incident, Guinnane had a blood alcohol content of .18, more than twice the legal limit.

Gormley suffered life-altering injuries as a result of the incident that have already required months of cognitive and physical therapy. He spoke after the sentencing, while holding back tears.

"The victims of drunk driving is not just the person that gets hit by the car or gets in the accident, it's the family, it's the community, the same people that you love, that go through pain daily," he said. "It's not fair. It's not right. And today is one example. The district attorney today, for the whole time, has proven, guess what, there's punishment. There is a punishment. And punishment needs to be done to people that do this to people. And this woman deserves it. She deserves even more in my book, because I have a life sentence of pain. And she will get out of jail, but my life will never change."

His wife and children delivered impact statements prior to the sentencing.

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