BANGOR – An Etna man admitted in court Tuesday that he was high on a variety of drugs when he caused a deadly August 2017 crash that left a woman dead.
Richard Lupo, 32, now must wait until next month to find out if a judge accepts his plea deal.
In August 2017, Lupo told investigators he used heroin every day. According to police, Lupo was driving more than 80 mph east the westbound lane on Route 2 when he collided
head on with a vehicle driven by 73-year-old Debra Calderwood.
“He was a hot mess that day of substance abuse. He accepts that he will be serving a prison term and that will happen quite soon,” Jeffrey Silverstein, Lupo’s defense attorney, said during Tuesday’s court proceedings.
If the judge accepts it, the plea agreement calls for Lupo to spend four years of a 15-year sentence in prison with four years of probation.
Lupo’s attorney said Lupo has been sober since the crash that claimed Calderwood’s life.
Members of Calderwood’s family were in the courtroom Tuesday morning when Lupo took responsibility for causing the crash that killed the Etna woman.
“I think that this case is an example of how the drug epidemic in our community is affecting not just those who are addicted and their family members, but that there’s a very big ripple effect going on and it’s affecting people in our community as a whole,” Penobscot County Assistant District Attorney Devon Demarco said.
A detective who investigated the crash said there is a lesson to be learned regardless of a person’s drug of choice.
“When you get behind the wheel the dangers and the consequences of that can be catastrophic,” Sgt. William Flagg of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office said.