BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A man who hit and killed three people while driving drunk said his designated driver abandoned him.
In court Monday, Anthony Bruno, 27, pleaded guilty to charges related to the crash in Bethlehem Twp., Northampton Co., in January, 2010.
Bruno admitted to a wild night of partying, but contended he was ditched by his designated driver.
For three families, that was of little consequence as their loved ones were hit and killed by Bruno.
"It was definitely mind boggling I guess I can say because we waited for two years for this," said Bryanna Garnett.
For the family of Chad Horne, 22, support outside the Northampton County Courthouse in Easton was on full display as Bruno pleaded guilty. Robin Villegas, 52, and Terri Buskirk, 43, were also killed.
"Nothing can bring them back," said Garnett, Horne's sister. "I feel justice was served, for the most part."
In the very early hours of January 28, 2010, police said Bruno, driving his pickup truck, hit the car driven by Horne at Easton Avenue and Willow Park.
Horn, Villegas and Buskirk were killed instantly.
Bruno was speeding and his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, police said. He will spend the next seven-and-a-half to 18 years in prison.
"I think sentencing in Pennsylvania for drunk drivers is totally inadequate and lax," said Joe McGill, the husband of Villegas.
Through an affidavit read in court, Bruno indicated he started drinking the afternoon of January 27. A bar in Bethlehem was sponsoring a caravan to a hockey game at the Sovereign Center in Reading.
Throughout the night, Bruno said he drank at least 25 beers and several shots.
He indicated he had a designated driver, but the driver left when the group was returned to the bar later that night.
Tearfully, Bruno said he made the mistake to drive.
"The past two years have been horrible. My life will never be the same. He ruined my life and my sons,' said Jene Higuero, the daughter of Villegas.
Family members said Horne, Villegas and Buskirk were set to attend a funeral of a family member later that day.
Allentown, PA 18102