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St. Mary’s woman given five-year sentence for 2016 crash


Victoria Ann Gellings

Leonardtown, MD - A lengthy, emotional sentencing hearing in District Court for St. Mary’s County Thursday, Nov. 1 was a blend of tears, anger, shouting and recitations of meticulous details of the lives of individuals nearly 35 months after a horrific motor vehicle crash. “A horrible tragedy, no one’s lives will ever be the same,” said Judge Robyn Riddle prior to imposing a five-year prison sentence for the at-fault driver, Victoria Ann Gellings, 48 of Mechanicsville. The crash occurred during the early-evening hours of Oct. 28, 2016 at the Three Notch Road-Mechanicsville Road intersection. Gellings was operating a Jeep Liberty that plowed into a Nissan Frontier that was stopped at a red light and occupied by four people on their way to a Halloween celebration. All four occupants and Gellings were flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in critical condition. During Gellings’ two-day trial this past July, three motorists testified that they saw Gellings’ Jeep Liberty being operated in an erratic and dangerous manner just prior to the collision.

In reaching her sentencing decision, Riddle imposed four five-year sentences for each of the second-degree assault charges. Several other of the 14 counts Gellings was found guilty of were merged under those counts. For each count, Riddle suspended all but 15 months, with the sentences to be served consecutively. The two alcohol-related charges Gellings was found guilty of back in July were suspended. The drug-related charges were merged with the assault counts.

The most severely injured in the crash, Angela Kalnasy, sat in a wheelchair facing Riddle while her spokesperson, Joann Wood, read a lengthy summation of the lingering adverse impacts of the crash. “She can no longer speak clearly,” said Wood, noting that Angela Kalnasy was in a coma for three months, sustaining multiple traumatic brain injuries. “Her career and education are gone now. Angie goes through severe depression. The defendant has virtually committed manslaughter.”

Angela Kalnasy’s husband, Christopher, noted that his wife had a promising career as a graphic designer. Additionally, the couple had planned to start a family. “My wife’s life as it was before is over,” said Christopher Kalnasy, who also recounted his lingering injuries. “I just want to scream ‘why did this happen to us?’ ”
Another passenger in the Nissan, Katelyn Kalnasy, stated that she has undergone numerous surgeries and is still afraid to drive alone. Due to her severe injuries, Katelyn Kalnasy said she had to learn to walk again. “I will never be normal again,” she said.

At the hearing’s outset, Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Caspar requested a “significant sentence.” Caspar stated Gellings’ pre-sentence investigation revealed “she [Gellings] has been on several psychoactive drugs” and her doctor had advised her not to drive four months prior to the crash. “She continued to drive,” said Caspar.
“Locking everybody up doesn’t do any good,” said defense attorney Robert Harvey, who requested Gellings be sentenced to home detention. “Ms. Gellings health problems are not going to be addressed in the Division of Corrections.” Harvey also took umbrage with Christopher Kalnasy’s contention that Gellings has never attempted to apologize to the victims. “My client attempted to apologize,” Harvey affirmed.

“I am so sorry,” said Gellings. “I have many medical issues. I am most remorseful. I hope one day you’ll forgive me. We pray for you constantly.”

Before imposing the sentence, Riddle noted that while the crash was a life-changing tragedy, “the miracle is everyone is still here.”

Caspar described the Kalnasys as “incredibly resilient people with a huge network of support.” She noted Gellings has been downplaying her role in the October 2016 crash on social media. “She has made numerous statements that her conviction was wrongful,” said Kaspar.

After the sentencing, Kaspar told TheBayNet.com that should Gellings choose to contest Riddle’s sentence, her social media comments, comments heard outside the courtroom and the presentence investigation’s revelation that she was advised not to drive by a physician prior to the 2016 crash will all be cited during the appeal hearing.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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