On the left, sat widow Tanya Gaston, her eyes bloodshot and brimming with tears, still grief-stricken from the death her husband, Geoff Gaston, 41, who was thrown 37 metres after being struck on June 20, 2014.
On the right, sat the drunk driver’s wife, Rachel Fracassi, who broke down weeping and whispered goodbye to her husband in the prisoner’s box as he was handcuffed and taken off to prison.
Fracassi, 34, was driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he left a strip bar with his buddies and hit Gaston and Jane Fuller — both town workers who were painting traffic lines on Alliston’s main street in the middle of the night.
“The Gaston family remains utterly crushed with grief,” said Justice Cary Boswell in his sentencing.
He said Fracassi was not an evil person but rather a kind, hardworking, caring man and a loving father of four children.
“This is a classic example of a good person who made a bad decision and committed a serious offence with devastating consequences,” said the judge. “Mr. Fracassi didn’t meant to kill anyone. But he did mean to drink and he did mean to drive.”
During his trial, Fracassi tried but failed to convince the judge he was not drunk but “sleep driving” due to a medical sleep disorder called parasomnia.
His lawyer insisted Fracassi drank after the incident. The judge didn’t believe them.
Court heard how Fracassi would often guzzle down a half bottle of vodka he kept hidden in his basement. That night his wife called and begged him not to drink.
“I had a feeling something terrible was going to happen,” she testified during the trial.
Standing in the cold rain outside of court with her two fatherless sons, Gaston said she can’t forgive Fracassi after he dragged the case through court for two years rather than doing the “right thing” and pleading guilty.
“I was sickened, just sickened,” she said, noting the Crown had asked the judge to impose a sentence ranging from seven years to nine years. “Nothing is ever going to change.”
Source: Toronto Sun