Auburn

Auburn teen gets up to 6 1/2 years for DWI crash

2013-01-29T20:31:00Z 2013-01-30T09:28:30Z Auburn teen gets up to 6 1/2 years for DWI crashSamantha House The Citizen Auburn Citizen
January 29, 2013 8:31 pm  • 

AUBURN | Malori Gabrenya's life is dictated by pain.

When Gabrenya opens her eyes, she aches. Knowing how uncomfortable shifting her limbs will be, Gabrenya said she has to give herself a pep talk every morning just to get out of bed.

Daily activities are now a burden. She can barely lift her arms above her head in the shower, so Gabrenya said sports — like running — are out.

The 25-year-old Ohio woman used to work and loved to spend time with Andrew Nortz, her boyfriend.

But last summer, that changed.

On Aug. 31, a drunken Peter Giacona took his parents' van without permission. The 18-year-old Auburn teen traveled east on Route 20, neglecting to turn the van's lights on.

At 9:07 p.m., Giacona swerved into the opposite lane, crashing head-on into the Gabrenya's westbound sedan.

Speaking before Giacona's sentencing Tuesday morning in Cayuga County Court, a teary Gabrenya said every moment of the devastating accident is etched permanently in her mind.

"It's amazing how your life can be turned upside down in a matter of seconds," she said. "The pain I felt and continue to feel is like nothing I've ever felt before."

The 45 minutes she spent trapped inside her crumpled Honda Civic, Gabrenya said, was agony.

As emergency workers labored to free the couple, Gabrenya said she had nothing to distract her from the copious rivers of blood and mucus pouring down Nortz's face, from the excruciating painful, golf ball-sized bump swelling on her back.

During her days in and out of surgery, Gabrenya said she had to be lifted in and out of bed. At first, she could not walk. She could not bathe or feed herself or go to the bathroom on her own.

The seven-hour-long drive back to Ohio, she said, was torture.

"As soon as I got back in the car, I couldn't stop crying," Gabrenya said. "I was looking out the window and could only relive the accident."

Unable to work or take care of herself, Gabrenya had to move back in with her parents. She said she faces a mountain of medical bills.

Turning her attention to Giacona, Gabrenya's tone of voice shifted steadily, morphing from shaky sorrow to rage.

"I would never wish an experience like this on my worst enemy," she said.

When given a chance to speak, the teenager apologized to Nortz, Gabrenya and his parents.

Giacona said drugs and alcohol ruined his life, arguing that the person who sold heroin and drove with a .157 blood-alcohol content, was not him.

"I know I made a horrible mistake," Giacona said. "The real me is sincerely sorry for what I've done."

For third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance conviction, Judge Mark Fandrich sentenced Giacona to 2.5 years in prison and two years of post-release supervision. For two counts of second-degree vehicular assault, Giacona will serve 1 1/3 to four years in prison and five years of post-release supervision. And for his DWI conviction, Giacona will serve 60 days of incarceration.

Giacona's sentences for his DWI conviction and his drug conviction will run consecutively.

Fandrich told the defendant that victims do not get second chances.

"As a result of your actions, you've permanently altered the quality of life of both Andrew and Malori," he said. "I hope you see the tragedy that you have caused and find it in yourself to come out a better person."

Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2282 or samantha.house@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. RRF
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    RRF - January 30, 2013 10:29 am
    God bless you Malori & Andrew! I am glad the judge saw the ne3cessity to remove this young man from doing more harm to HIMSELF as well as to others. Ihope he will straighten up from this. I am heartbroken this accident will affect you forever......... I wish it could be erased from your experience.... you are promising, so full of life... persevere my friend as best you are able!
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