A Weston driver will serve four and a half years in prison for driving drunk and killing a tow driver in Trumbull in 2020.
Dean Robert, 48, was sentenced Thursday in a Bridgeport courtroom to ten years with four and a half suspended followed by probation for five years.
He pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, operating under the influence of alcohol, among other charges Thursday.
Corey Iodice was killed on the Merritt Parkway that April.
He lived in Florida, but was helping his family’s tow business in Connecticut when he was killed.
Iodice was a well-known, legendary figure in the towing industry, known for caring so much about safety.
During the sentencing hearing, Robert turned to look at the family of Iodice in an emotional apology and said he’s committed to helping them create change for the future safety of first responders, like tow truck drivers.
As part of his sentence, Robert will have to pay $10,000 to Flagman, an organization Iodice’s sister Cindy created to educate people of all ages about the importance of slowing down and moving over for first responders like her brother and Chris Russell.
The sentencing took place just one day after Russell was laid to rest. He was an East Hartford tow driver who was killed helping someone change a tire last month in North Haven.
Cindy Iodice went to his services and was heartbroken.
She spoke to us after his services: “I found out that Chris Russell was struck and killed 10 days ago, I burst out crying thinking we did not get here with our message fast enough.”
She announced the creation of Flagman in a press conference after her brother’s sentencing.
Iodice said the sentence decision for Robert to pay the maximum fine of $10,000 for the "Move Over" law is historic, the first time it's ever been enacted.
She and others at court Thursday hope this is a message for people to pay attention on the roads.
The state said Robert’s car was found flipped over after the crash where Iodice was killed.
Both the prosecution and the defense agreed that Robert would spend no more than five years in prison with a long probation period, but it was up to a judge to decide how much time Robert would spend in prison.
Loved ones on both sides spoke of the pain of the past two and a half years.
“You had absolutely no regards to anybody else on the road that day and unfortunately for us, Corey was your fatal victim. I just can’t imagine the fear, and the pain, my brother went through those last few seconds of his life,” said Iodice’s brother Chris, who worked with Corey and called him his mentor and best friend.
“I have no excuses for what I did. None. I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like for not to be able to share a birthday, a holiday, a baseball game,” said Robert, who says he’s been attending intensive therapy and his actions will not only impact the Iodice family, but his family and his wife and two kids.
While he gave a tearful apology, Robert told the family he hopes to advocate with the Flagman organization after he serves his time.
“Every day, I put myself in your shoes,” he said.
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