ALBANY, N.Y. - A woman who was taking medications when she fatally struck three pedestrians outside a Voorheesville church has been spared jail time during her sentencing Friday.
LuAnn Burgess of Voorheesville has been sentenced Friday in Albany County Court to five years probation and 600 hours of community service. She was facing six months in jail, but the judge said putting the remorseful 56-year-old behind bars wouldn't deter anyone else from driving while taking prescription medications.
Burgess pleaded guilty in November to negligent homicide after admitting in court that she was taking six medications used to treat Parkinson's Disease and became distracted in August 2011, when her sport utility vehicle ran off a road, hit three Albany-area women and crashed into a Catholic church in the village of Voorheesville.
Fran Palloozi, 81, Rosemarie Hume, 79, both of Waterford and Carol Lansing, 66, of Green Island were pronouced dead at the scene. They were members of the Empire State Volkssporters who met for a weekly walk.
According to police, Burgess was driving 39 miles per hour down the road when her car then accelerated to 46 miles per hour as it hit the three victims.
Toxicology results showed Burgess had three different medications in her system; however she had prescriptions for all three. She is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Burgess was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter and lesser charges of driving while under the influence of drugs.