- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Mechanicsville man was sentenced Wednesday to serve 30 days in jail from his guilty plea to causing a life-threatening injury while driving under the influence of alcohol, when he crashed last November into the back of a woman’s car near Hollywood.
Reuben Nathaniel Sine, 34, stood and apologized to Carolyn Porter as she sat in the St. Mary’s courtroom, where a prosecutor detailed the woman’s injuries and ongoing recovery.
Sine’s collision with Porter’s car caused her to lose control of the vehicle before it went off Route 235 into some trees, according to St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling, and Porter lost consciousness at the scene. Sine originally was also charged with failing to remain at the scene of the crash.
Porter first was flown to a hospital in Washington, D.C., and then to another in Baltimore, the prosecutor said, to undergo “sophisticated spinal surgery” and receive further treatment for a concussion and collapsed lung.
Sine eventually was located and taken to a local hospital, where a blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent, the prosecutor said, but Porter’s recovery was just beginning.
“My whole world was turned upside down,” Porter wrote in a victim-impact statement presented to the judge. “Someone hit me from behind, .... and left me hanging upside down in my [overturned] car alone, to die on the highway.”
She wrote that she still has burn marks and surgical scars, and that after four months in hospitals and more than two months of in-home rehabilitation and therapy, she is “still fighting to gain complete control over my life.”
“She hurts every day,” Daniel Armitage, a private attorney, said on Porter’s behalf during the plea hearing, noting her many years of employment with the FBI in Washington, and her current limitations in helping to care for other members of her family. “She is a good person,” Armitage said, “who is struggling with that anger.”
Sine’s lawyer said that his client continues receiving treatment for alcoholism.
“I’m truly sorry to Mrs. Porter’s family, and herself, for my actions,” Sine said. “All I can do is to do what I’m doing now. I just wish that it hadn’t happened.”
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Karen H. Abrams sentenced Sine to three years in prison, suspended to the 30 days in jail, on the condition that he successfully complete his participation in an adult substance abuse recovery court program during three years of supervised program.
The judge also ordered that Sine pay $14,861 in restitution.
“You have made efforts and changes in your life,” the judge said.