Driver who struck L.B. teen faces 25 years in jail

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After Colletti fell away from the vehicle, Rice said that Gutierrez continued driving, striking a parked vehicle and driving on the sidewalk before coming to a stop in the street and falling out of his vehicle.

According to Cregeen, police located Gutierrez’s vehicle on the 500 block of East Beech Street, and arrested him just before 11 p.m. According to Rice, Gutierrez told officers at the scene that he had consumed “like, a thousand drinks,” and hadn’t technically killed anyone. He registered a blood-alcohol content reading of .30 percent five hours later, nearly four times the legal limit.

Colletti suffered second- and third-degree burns and abrasions on her legs and arms and was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where she was admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit in critical condition. She had multiple surgeries during a month-long stay in the hospital. Rice said that Colletti suffered such serious road rash injuries to the left side of her body that her knee and elbow joints were exposed. According to Rice, extensive skin grafts have resulted in permanent scarring, and Colletti suffered an injury to the tendons in her left hand that may require further surgery.

“The physical injuries and permanent scars this young girl has suffered are horrific, to say nothing of the emotional and psychological toll of trying to stay alive while being dragged under a moving car for 600 feet,” Rice said. “For this defendant to drive with that amount of alcohol in his system is unthinkable, and he will be held accountable for the incredible danger he posed that night.”

Gutierrez is due back in court on Feb. 7. Zizza, of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Gutierrez is represented by Kevin Connolly, Esq.

*An earlier version of this story included the incorrect spelling the victim's last name, and the incorrect age of German Gutierrez.

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