Driver in deadly Belchertown crash sentenced after changing plea

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BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) –  The Belchertown man charged in the 2017 crash that killed Amherst resident Larry Kelley was sentenced in court Thursday morning after changing his plea.

22News was in court when 19-year-old Ryan Fellion pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.

He was subsequently sentenced to two years of suspended jail time, meaning he will not be incarcerated unless he violates the conditions of his probation. 

Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Mary Carey told 22News conditions of Fellion’s two years of probation include: he continue his current counseling, stays employed or in college, and makes 30 presentations to high school students on the consequences of dangerous driving.

Fellion’s conviction also triggers an automatic 15-year license loss.

Before the sentencing, the prosecution announced that the state police investigation determined there was no evidence Fellion was actively using his phone at the time of the crash. The prosecution also shared witness statements, in which each witness reported seeing Fellion’s car drift into the opposite lane, striking Kelley’s car without braking.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington requested that Fellion serve one year behind bars, followed by a period of probation.

“While the Commonwealth believed that jail time was appropriate in this case, we respect the Court’s decision. Hopefully this disposition will bring some closure to this tragedy,”  Covington said.

Kelley’s young daughter, siblings, ex-wife and former coworkers shared impact statements prior to the sentencing.


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