A former Delaware County prosecutor who left the scene of an accident and injured a Haverford teen was sentenced today to four to eight months in county jail.
Michael Donohue, 32, now of Philadelphia, made an apology to the Jake Vantrieste and his family and said the event has affected him in a "profound way."
On Nov. 4, 2011, Donohue, who had been out drinking with coworkers after work, was driving along a busy Upper Darby route talking on his cell phone when he struck Vantrieste, then 14, who was attempting to cross the street.
The teen was rushed to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suffering from bleeding on the brain, a fractured pelvis, and broken leg. He spent six days in the hospital including time in intensive care. He missed three months of school.
Donohue, who is also a volunteer firefighter, did not turn himself in until days after the crash.
A former waitress at the bar testified during Donohue's trial last month. She said Donohue ran up a bar tab of $120 the night of the crash.
None of the witnesses, however, including eight former or current members of the District Attorney's Office who were at the bar, testified that Donohue appeared impaired.
During the trial, a forensic toxicologist, a key witness for the prosecution, was not allowed to testify to the blood-alcohol level of someone who had Donohue's build who had consumed a substantial amount of alcohol.
Judge John L. Braxton acquitted Donohue of the more serious charges, including aggravated assault and driving under the influence. A simple assault charge was later dropped, which left Donohue facing only a misdemeanor.
He was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident on Nov. 19.
At today's sentencing, Judge Braxton admonished Donohue for not staying to help the teen. He said Donohue had every privilege in life with education, family and a honorable profession but that defendant needed to know he was not above the law.
"You knew the punishment," Judge Braxton said before imposing his sentence.
Kevin Vantrieste said he didn't think Donohue's apology was sincere and the sentence enough.
"It's never enough," he said. "It's my son."
Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.