Maine Supreme Court upholds sentence for man that fell asleep at the wheel, killed three people

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A Chelsea man who was convicted of three civil charges in 2022 for hitting and killing three people in Augusta after falling asleep at the wheel had his sentencing upheld by the Maine Supreme Court Tuesday.

Robert Santerre was sentenced in November after pleading guilty to three counts of committing a motor vehicle violation resulting in death.

In May 2021, he hit and killed 1-year-old Vada-Leigh Peaslee, her grandmother 69-year-old Barbara Maxim-Hendsbee and 62-year-old Maxim-Hendsbee’s friend Rosalyn Jean.

The three were walking along Cony Road with the child in a stroller.

Santerre had to pay $5,000 for a memorial for the victims and lose his driver’s license for nine years.

Because these were civil charges, Santerre did not face any jail time.

Santerre challenged the sentence, saying he should only have been faced with one civil charge instead of three.

The Maine Supreme Court upheld the ruling, saying that since the accident caused three deaths, he committed three violations and that was consistent with the wording of the civil charge Santerre pleaded guilty to.