The case of a fatal car crash that occurred inPatterson in 2015 reached a conclusion last week when a Pawling man pleaded guilty for his part in the wreckage.
Christopher Osborne, 45, who was accused of driving under the influence of morphine that resulted in the deadly crash, admitted his guilt in court on Jan. 29, Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy told The Putnam Examiner. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular manslaughter, which is a felony.
The investigation into Osborne began on April 29, 2015 when New York State troopers responded to a two-car auto collision on Route 22, just north of Route 311. A 2003 GMC pick-up truck, driven by Osborne, was traveling northbound when he crossed over the double yellow lines into the southbound lane and struck a 2015 Subaru Forester, operated by Mario Riccobon, of Carmel, with his wife Jean Riccobon in the passenger’s seat.
Jean Riccobon was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 63. Mario Riccobon suffered serious injuries and Osborne dealt with minor injuries, authorities said at the time.
Tendy said Osborne could face up to three years behind bars. Sentencing is March 27.
Osborne was evaluated by a drug recognition expert following the crash and was accused of being impaired as a result of drug use. A blood test determined Osborne had been under the influence of morphine at the time of the fatal crash, police said. Tendy said he wasn’t legally prescribed that morphine.
Osborne was originally arrested on a slew of charges stemming from the accident, including aggravate vehicular manslaughter, aggravated criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter in the 2nd degree, aggravated vehicular assault, vehicular assault in the 1st degree, vehicular manslaughter in the 2nd degree, assault in the 2nd degree, and vehicular assault in the 2nd degree, all of which are felonies.
After an indictment was granted, Osborne turned himself into police on Aug. 7, 2017 and was arraigned by Putnam County Judge James Reitz. It’s unclear why it took more than two years from the time of the crash for the state police to arrest Osborne.
Tendy said the Riccobon family gave the DA’s office approval to make the plea deal with Osborne. The lead prosecutor on the case, Joe Charbonneau, met with Mario Riccobon numerous times throughout the case, Tendy said.
“We would not have done this without his acquiescence,” Tendy said. “We thought all things considered, this was the best plea for everyone involved.”