The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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June 27, 2014

Six-year term irks family of crash victims

— SUNBURY — Relatives of Kirk and Mayson Mahaffey were suprised Thursday afternoon after a Northumberland County judge sentenced an Iraq War veteran to six to 20 years in state prison for the vehicular homicide deaths of the Valley father and his son.

Judge Charles Saylor imposed the sentence on Brian Glass, 26, of Port Trevorton, after Glass pleaded guilty — but mentally ill because of his post-traumatic stress disorder — to two counts of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and one count of driving under the influence.

Kirk Mahaffey and Mayson, 3, of Northumberland, were killed on Veterans Memorial Bridge in July 2012 when Glass, who was drunk and high, drove his unregistered Jeep Liberty into oncoming traffic.

“It’s disgusting,” Kirk’s sister, Nicole Mahaffey, said after the sentence was announced. “There are people who do less and get a worse sentence.”

Mahaffey read a statement she and Kirk’s mother, Rose Heller, prepared before Saylor announced the sentence.

“I never got to say goodbye,” the statement said. “I try to stay strong, but I’m dying inside. Kirk and Mayson are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep. No matter what sentence you get, it won’t be enough. Rest in peace mom misses you.”

Nearly two years after the crash, the Mahaffeys and nearly 30 of their friends packed Saylor’s courtroom. When Nicole Mahaffey read her mother’s statement, tears began to flow from those in the gallery.

“I’m not happy about this sentence, but even if it was more, it wouldn’t bring my grandson and my great-grandson back,” Mary Heller said.

Do you have anything to say to the court? Saylor asked Glass.

Glass stood and turned to the Mahaffeys.

“I never intended this to happen,” he said.

“I’m sorry you all have to go through this. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of this. I just hope one day you can forgive me.”

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