Guilty pleas in death of 15-year-old

A Mattituck woman who admitted to driving drunk when she struck and killed a teenage boy on a bicycle in Hampton Bays last year has agreed to a plea deal and will be sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation when she returns to court on June 17, according to her lawyer and the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.

Caroline Goss, 34, will plead guilty to a felony count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor, endangering the welfare of a child and carrying an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for DA Tom Spota.

Ms. Goss, a registered nurse, will start her sentence at the county’s DWI facility in Yaphank on June 24, said her attorney, Tony Palumbo of Mattituck.

Ms. Goss was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee north on Ponquogue Avenue Aug. 12, 2009, when she struck Joseph Marino, 15. She told police she had reached for her phone just a moment before. Southampton Town Police said Ms. Goss had a blood-alcohol level of .13 and was driving with her then 6-year-old son in the front seat. Her son was not injured. Police also reported discovering a cup containing an alcoholic beverage by the front seat and a half-full bottle of vanilla vodka in the back seat.

She had been convicted in 2003 of driving while impaired.

Mr. Clifford said an accident reconstruction by the Suffolk County Crime Lab, a branch of the health department, concluded that the teen veered into the roadway just before impact. There was also no evidence of speeding.

Tim Kelly

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