Sentence sends important message in hit-and-run death of local teen

Posted 8/21/19

We seldom comment on the handing down of sentences of those convicted. Such matters are typically not only not for us to judge but best left to the judges who along with the jurors, have poured over …

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Sentence sends important message in hit-and-run death of local teen

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We seldom comment on the handing down of sentences of those convicted.

Such matters are typically not only not for us to judge but best left to the judges who along with the jurors, have poured over the testimony and sifted through the evidence first hand at trial. Moreover, whether we agree or disagree at the time, we find that judges and juries get it right far more than they get it wrong when we are able to utilize the lens of time to look back on these cases.

However, we couldn’t agree more with Genesee County Court Judge Charles Zambito, who on Monday presided over the trial of Jennifer L. Serrano, of Irving, N.Y., who was convicted of hitting and killing 18-year-old Connor Lynskey, of Hinckley, with her motor vehicle after a concert at Darien Lake last summer.

Serrano was found guilty by a jury last month of one count each of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving
while intoxicated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Court officials said Monday Serrano was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison on both the vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident counts, both to run consecutively. She was also sentenced to 364 days in prison on the driving while intoxicated charge and 180 days for second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, court officials said.

It was the maximum sentenced allowed under the law, Zambito said, who like prosecutor District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, acknowledged that in this case was still woefully inadequate.

We sadly agree that no sentence can ever bring peace to Lynskey’s family or friends, but the judge’s sentence sends the appropriate message.

Prior to the sentencing, Lynskey’s family fondly recalled a kind, studious, fun-loving and generous nature of an aspiring doctor and accomplished athlete. We cannot imagine their pain but commend them for their courage to speak out not just for this victim but for all victims of such senseless acts.

We hope that this sentence reminds people to plan ahead when they drink, and to understand that unintended yet tragic consequences often result from drunk driving.

In the age of Uber and Lyft, when catching a ride home may have never been easier, such simple acts as calling for a ride, having a designated driver or having a friend intervene could have made a world of difference.

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