PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local man is going to prison for a drunk-driving crash that killed one of his passengers.
Only Eyewitness News cameras were in court Thursday as Daniel Gautreau tearfully pleaded no contest to DUI charges.
The mother of the victim, 21-year-old Dominic Guziejka, spoke out in court – letting Gautreau know exactly how his poor decision changed her family forever.
“No mother – no parent should ever have to face this,” she said. “Dominic should not have gone to God because his friend was drunk – and because this so-called friend refused to hand over the keys.”
Police said Gautreau was driving drunk back in June of 2014 when he crashed his car. He and the front seat passenger were both injured, but Guziejka, who was seated in the backseat, was killed. His mother said her son’s death tore their family apart.
“I will always experience agony for the rest on my life,” she said. “Every year on October 14th, I will be crying because my son will not be experiencing his birthday. All I have now is his memories and a gravestone to look at.”
During the hearing, Gautreau pleaded no contest to the charges and offered his best apology.
“I just wanted to say to the Guziejka family – I am sorry for what happened,” he said. “I didn’t intend to lose one of my good friends. I made it hard for your family and friends and wish I could take it all back. I loved Dominic like a brother. This should have never happened.”
But Guziejka’s mother is still trying to make sense of the crash that took her son’s life.
“Drunk driving and having no insurance is very irresponsible. Very unfair. My son – my baby – should not be dead. Where’s the justice,” she questioned.
In court, Gautreau said he is going to serve his time and when he gets out, he wants to work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to help ensure similar situations don’t happen to other families.