Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced on September 23, 2016, that a 63-year-old Westport man who, while intoxicated, caused a motor vehicle crash in Westport which claimed the life of a 73-old woman last October has been convicted in Fall River Superior Court and sentenced to serve five to eight years in state prison.
Robert Hansen today pleaded guilty to a charge of Manslaughter by OUI. During the plea hearing before Judge Raffi Yessayan, Assistant District Attorney Stephen Nadeau argued that based on the egregious facts of the case, Mr. Hansen should be sentenced to serve seven to 10 years in state prison. The defendant, however, requested a five year state prison term. After hearing from both sides, Judge Yessayan sentenced the defendant to serve five to eight years in state prison. The defendant also had his driver’s license revoked for a minimum of 15 years.
On October 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm, the defendant was operating his Ford SUV westbound on Route 6 in the Town of Westport. Driving just ahead of him was Geraldine Correia, who was 73 years old. The defendant was travelling at a high rate of speed when he rammed into the rear of Mrs. Correia’s Toyota Corolla. The Toyota started to spin, then rolled over and landed on its roof. Mrs. Correia was ejected during the roll over. The victim was taken to the hospital, but did not survive. Westport detectives were in the area and responded. When Officers approached the defendant, they immediately noticed the classic signs of intoxication. A number of field sobriety tests were performed, all of which the defendant failed.
The defendant was belligerent with police officers and ambulance personnel who attempted to evaluate him for injuries, at one point spitting at one of the officers who was taking him into custody. Numerous tequila bottles (empty and partially full) and empty beer cans were found in his vehicle. Police investigating the crime found that he bought the same brand/size of tequila and beer earlier that day at a nearby liquor store. During the investigation a motorist drove by and stated that the defendant had been driving recklessly prior to the collision, cutting in and out of traffic and nearly causing crashes. Police obtained a warrant for the defendant’s blood, which was taken at 2:15 AM (nearly 8 hours after the crash). The blood was analyzed and the result was .08. A Retrograde Extrapolation calculation was done, resulting in an opinion that his BAC at the time of the crash was a minimum of .13 and a maximum of .30. The accident reconstruction resulted in the following findings: the victim’s brake lights were on at the time of the crash; the defendant never applied his brakes; and the defendant was driving at 85 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.
”This was a very tragic, but unnecessary, death caused by the defendant. His reckless and drunken operation of his vehicle killed a woman who was merely going to get fish and chips for dinner,” District Attorney Quinn said. ”The lengthy state prison sentence imposed by the court was appropriate based on the defendant’s actions.”