Manosh sentenced for drunken crash
By Eric Blaisdell
STAFF WRITER | September 28,2012
BARRE — The vice president of H.A. Manosh Corp. well drilling company was sentenced to a year in jail for drunkenly crashing into two Dartmouth College professors in 2010.
Nick A. Manosh, 47, was sentenced on his third conviction for driving under the influence, as well as leaving the scene of an accident that caused serious bodily harm and driving with a suspended license, Wednesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre. He was also sentenced to six months of home confinement.
On April 18, 2010, Manosh drank around 10 to 12 shots of bourbon at a restaurant in Williston, then drove home to Morrisville. His license was suspended for a previous DUI conviction.
On his way home on Route 100, Manosh crashed into a Subaru Forester containing Roberto Onofrio and Lorenza Viola, two Dartmouth physics professors. Onofrio suffered a severe concussion, cuts on his head, leg and hand, and scars on the cornea of his left eye. Viola had broken ribs and a back injury.
Manosh fled the scene, and police found his truck a quarter-mile away. He was not inside, and a police dog had to be called in. Manosh was found 30 feet from the truck.
Manosh denied driving the vehicle but said he was the only occupant of the truck and had the keys in his pants pocket.
Two hours after the crash, Manosh had a blood alcohol content of 0.204 percent.
Judge Thomas Zonay said that since Manosh fled, he knew what had happened would have consequences. Zonay also said that while he recognized Manosh was intoxicated at the time, “the court simply cannot conclude that it was alcohol alone that caused him to make those choices.”
Manosh has previous convictions for driving under the influence in 2007 and 1991. He was also charged with driving under the influence in 1992, but the charge was reduced to negligent operation. In 1987, he was convicted of careless and negligent operation after drinking and driving.
Manosh has 30 days until he has to report to jail. His attorney, Paul Volk, asked for a reporting date of Jan. 1 so Manosh would have time to get things in order at the well drilling business. Zonay said 30 days is long enough and that Manosh should have been prepared for jail time because of his pleas to the charges nine months ago.
In January, Manosh pleaded no contest to driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident and guilty to driving with a suspended license. He was supposed to be sentenced Sept. 10, but the arguments by Volk and State’s Attorney Tom Kelly about what sentence Manosh should receive ran up against the court’s normal closing time that day. Volk was asking for no jail time, while Kelly wanted Manosh to serve five years in jail.
Zonay said he needed more time to get the sentence right. He said no jail time was not punishment enough and five years was too much.
On Wednesday, Zonay said that since the crash occurred in 2010, Manosh has gone through treatment, attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, obeyed his conditions of release and “appears to have genuinely changed since the incident.”
Zonay said those circumstances factored into the sentence but did not excuse the underlying conduct of the crash.