Ellicott City woman sentenced to five years in prison for 2016 vehicular manslaughter

An Ellicott City woman was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for vehicular manslaughter in 2016 after driving under the influence on the wrong side of the road and hitting a 78-year-old man, who died from his injuries about three weeks later.

Brittany McElhiney, 29, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in July 2017. Following police investigation into the crash, McElhiney also pleaded guilty to one count of marijuana possession with intent to distribute in a separate case.

Howard County Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. McCrone sentenced McElhiney to 10 years for the vehicular manslaughter, suspending all but five years. McCrone suspended a five-year sentence for the drug charge, but placed McElhiney on five years of supervised probation following her release.

McElhiney was driving a 2013 Ford Focus on the wrong side of Green Clover Drive in Ellicott City, where she struck Dukehart on Sept. 24, 2016 around 10:30 a.m. An ambulance took Dukehart to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

McElhiney was not injured in the crash. Dukehart died from his extensive injuries on Oct. 19.

In addition to driving 55 miles per hour in a 25 miles-per-hour residential zone, police found McElhiney was under the influence of drugs, primarily Xanax, and had two bags of marijuana in her car. Officers later found more drugs, cash and drug paraphernalia at McElhiney’s home, which led to drug manufacturing and distribution charges against McElhiney and her boyfriend, Richard E. Debois, 65. Debois pleaded guilty to two counts of drug possession with intent to distribute in August, and his sentencing is scheduled in 2018.

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