Teen involved in fatal crash gets probation

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Purdy young woman has been sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with a crash that claimed the life of a Wheaton teenager.

Nicole Sierra Wood, 19, appeared before Circuit Judge Robert S. Wiley in a Barry County courtroom on Tuesday with her attorney John Lewright by her side. Judge Wiley suspended the formal imposition of sentence and ordered Wood be placed on probation for five years.

The sentence follows Wood's decision to plead guilty to the Class C felony of involuntary manslaughter on April 11.

The crash that killed Jessica Pettengill occurred at 4:30 a.m. on May 23, 2010. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Wood was driving when her car ran off Highway 76 two miles west of Cassville and overturned. Pettengill, who was 17 at the time of her death, was ejected from the vehicle and later pronounced dead at the scene.

Another passenger in the car, Ronald R. Torrey, 18, of Wheaton, was not injured in the crash.

As required by state law, Wood's blood alcohol content was tested following the crash, and she tested over the legal limit.

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