US man guilty over Britons' deaths


Peter Goldblatt, who was found guilty of causing the deaths of two Britons working at an American summer camp

A drunk driver has been found guilty of causing the deaths of two Britons working at an American summer camp who were struck by his SUV.

Dominic Hartley and Emily Lewis, both 21, were killed in Warrensburg, New York, on June 24 this year when the vehicle hit the group they were in at around 11.20pm.

The two were struck while standing by Golf Course Road by the Ford Escape SUV driven by 40-year-old Peter Goldblatt.

Warren County Court, in Lake George, New York, heard Goldblatt, who worked at his parents’ golf course, had 110 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood when he was tested at around 1.50am on June 25. The legal limit in the US is 80 microgrammes.

The jury took around four hours deliberating before finding Goldblatt guilty of all the charges he faced. The charges included aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree of Emily Lewis, manslaughter in the second degree of Dominic Hartley, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.

Warren County district attorney Kate Hogan, who prosecuted Goldblatt during the trial, said: “The uncontroverted testimony at the trial established that this defendant was drinking beer throughout the evening of June 24.

“He drove drunk and ploughed into a group of kids who were innocently standing on the side of the road. The jury’s verdict reflects the overwhelming evidence in this case. While the verdict is gratifying, it does little to assuage the grief of the Hartley and Lewis families.”

Mr Hartley, from Bredon near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ms Lewis, from Aberdeen, was taken to Glens Falls Hospital and then to Albany Medical Centre but died later.

Their colleague, Christopher Jones, 18, another Briton, was also hurt and needed hospital treatment. They were all working at Camp Echo Lake and had been standing on the side of the road in a group of seven people when they were hit.

A forensic pathologist told the court the injuries sustained were consistent with a high speed above 50mph. The road was in a 40mph zone. Goldblatt will be sentenced on February 2.

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