Rockland County Teen who Committed Deadly DUI to Serve Six Months in Jail

Rockland County Teen who Committed Deadly DUI to Serve Six Months in Jail

By Sarah Morgenstern

After driving while intoxicated, taking the life of a classmate, and seriously injuring two others on April 24, 2021, 18-year-old Joseph DeBellis of Airmont, NY, was sentenced on Tuesday to serve six months in a New York state prison.

After leaving prison, DeBellis, who pled guilty to all 17 counts of his indictment, will serve probation for five months.

“No parent should ever have to bury their own child,” said Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh. “Drinking while driving is an egregious offense that is easily preventable.

“We must use tragic events this as learning lessons for our teens, that your actions and decisions have real consequences. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the Suffern community and the families impacted by this tragedy.”

On that dark night, nearly a year ago, DeBellis was driving under the influences of both drugs and alcohol on Route 202 in Montebello with four of his friends.

At 2:50am, DeBellis, who was driving at speeds higher than 80mph, lost control his car and slammed into a utility pole: resulting in the death of one passenger and the serious injuries of three other passengers.

Photo credit: Flickr 

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