By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN — An Otego man was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison on Monday, Sept. 27, for second degree manslaughter related to the July 15, 2020, crash that killed two people in Pittsfield on county Route 13.
Tehya Gonzalez and Cheyenn Aubry were passengers in his Santiago’s car, which drove off the road at 85 miles an hour, killing them both. Santiago survived and was treated at the hospital for minor injuries.
Santiago sat with his head in his hand as victim impact statements were read by District Attorney John Muehl.
One of the statements read by Muehl was written by Kristi Kelly on behalf of the family of Tehya Gonzalez, one of the women who died as a result of the crash.
“On the early morning of July 15, 2020, our families’ lives were changed forever,” Kelly’s statement read. “A mother lost her daughter, her sisters and brother lost a sibling, her young nephew and niece lost their aunt. … Tehya was only 22 years old and had so much life left to live. Since Tehya’s passing, her four year old nephew and two year old niece have had to learn about death and heaven and now look up to the sky daily, to watch their angel flying. This is an awful tragedy, a senseless tragedy, that no family should ever have to experience. All because of the reckless and careless actions of Shane Santiago.”
Kelly Graven also spoke about the loss Gonzalez’s mother felt, and said the “shock, confusion and sadness of that day has not left us.”
“Life will never be the same without Tehya here,” Graven’s statement read. “The impact on the lives of her family is literally beyond words and I’m so sad feeling no matter what I say, it will feel inadequate. Two beautiful, vibrant young women have been taken by another person’s selfishly reckless actions. I hope and I pray that no other person ever has to suffer what this family has.”
Santiago declined to offer any statement before sentencing was handed down.