PITTSFIELD -- A repeat drunken driver was sentenced to up to five years in state prison Wednesday after he admitted he was driving under the influence when he led police on a high-speed chase in August 2012 that ended with him crashing and severely injuring his passenger.
Justin R. Larimore, 36, of Plinn Street in Pittsfield, was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Caprice in the early hours of Aug. 26, 2012, when he was spotted driving erratically on Routes 7 & 20 near the Pittsfield-Lenox town line.
The witness, an off-duty Lanesborough police officer, reported the incident, prompting a high-speed chase that forced a state trooper off the road before Larimore crashed into the Laurel Street (Route 20) bridge over the Housatonic River in Lee.
Larimore and his passenger, a 28-year-old Hinsdale woman, had to be extracted from the vehicle. The trooper wasn't hurt.
The woman suffered severe injuries, including a broken hip and fractured pelvis. She was hospitalized and had to go through physical therapy. Larimore also was hospitalized.
Police later determined that Larimore had been intoxicated during the incident.
Larimore, wiping away tears, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court to five charges, including single counts of driving to endanger causing serious bodily injury, second-offense drunken driving, driving to endanger, failing to stop for police, and driving with a suspended license, second offense.
Judge John A. Agostini ordered Larimore to serve at least 21 2 years and no more than five years in state prison. The sentence was in line with a joint recommendation by the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and the defendant's lawyer, Michelle Mechta. The judge also ordered him to pay a $100 fine.
A third-offense drunken driving charge was dismissed at the request of the prosecutor.
The passenger did not appear in court, but she did provide a written victim impact statement to the judge.
Larimore, who had been free on his own recognizance, was handcuffed and led away by court security.
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