FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – A Rhode Island man charged with vehicular homicide in an accident that killed a local National Guard sergeant changed his plea to guilty during a Tuesday afternoon hearing.
Jason Kwolek, 33, of Pawtucket, pleaded guilty in the 2012 drunken driving death of 24-year-old Kaisha Lynn Geurrini. The prosecution said the SUV operated by Kwolek crossed over the center line on Route 152 in Attleboro and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle driven by Geurrini. Officials believe he was driving 44 miles over the speed limit.
Guerrini, a North Attleboro resident, was rushed to the hospital after the crash, but she died two hours later. She had just been promoted to sergeant after six years of service in the Massachusetts National Guard.
“She was an amazing, amazing person,” her mother Tina said tearfully outside of court, “She had a great spirit, she lit up a room. She walked in and you knew she was there, she was a very powerful person.”
Guerrini was charged with manslaughter by motor vehicle and vehicular homicide while driving drunk. Deputy Chief Erik Guilette told Eyewitness News the car was badly mangled after the accident, and it took eight people to free her.
“The person she would have given her life for took hers, and she wasn’t killed by the enemy on foreign soil, she was killed by the enemy in our own country… which is the drunk driver,” Guerrini’s great aunt said.
“If someone learns from this not to drink and drive, that’s an accomplishment,” Gurrini’s father James stated, “So hopefully a bunch of people see this and take it into heed and realize it’s a real crime and that they shouldn’t do it.”
Kwolek is due to be sentenced April 25. He could potentially face up to 20 years in prison.