COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An accused wrong way drunk driver pleaded guilty in Colonie Town Court on Monday.
Heilmann pleaded guilty to DWI, Aggravated DWI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Driving the Wrong Way on a One Way Road, and Failing to Notify DMV of an Address Change on Tuesday. Dawn Witecki of Cohoes was a passenger of the vehicle that swerved to avoid Heilmann that night.
“We circled around twice, hit the pile of snow, and flipped over onto the snow bank and that’s when the car started to crush into the snow,” she recalled.
Witecki said she’ll never forget her brush with death.
“I couldn’t sleep, and then I was afraid to get in my car and drive,” she said.
Her brother, Joseph Kelly, was driving the car. He had just purchased it a few weeks before, but it was totaled in the accident.
“That car is gone now,” Witecki said. “He didn’t have collision insurance on that, and you know, we do have a loss. We have a financial loss, you know.”
Kelly said he is still without a vehicle.
Heilmann’s license was suspended for one year, and she must pay more than $1,000 in fines. But Witecki questions if the punishment will ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“Is that really enough?” Witceki said. “I don’t know.”