ALBANY, N.Y. – A woman who crashed her SUV into a group of people in Voorheesville last year, killing three, has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.
LuAnn Burgess, 56, pleaded to the three felony charges, one for each victim, in Albany County Court Friday morning. When she is sentenced in January, Burgess faces up to 6 months in jail and 5 years probation.
Burgess admitted to being under six different kinds of medication on Aug. 10, 2011 when she crashed into a walking tour that had stopped in front of St. Matthew's church.
Three women were killed, 81-year-old Fran Pallozzi, 79-year-old Rosemarie Hume, both of Waterford, and 66-year-old Carol Lancing, of Green Island.
Burgess was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter and lesser charges of driving while under the influence of drugs. Under the terms of the plea, Burgess will spend up to six months in jail and agreed to never drive in New York again.
She had faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.
According to police, Burgess was driving 39 miles per hour down the road when her car then accelerated to 46 miles per hour as it hit the 3 victims.
Toxicology results showed Burgess had three different medications in her system; however she had prescriptions for all three. She is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Burgess claimed that the accident was caused when her flip flop slipped off her foot and held down the gas pedal.