Epping woman expected to plead guilty in accident that killed worker at Dunkin' DonutsBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
May 30. 2018 10:41PM
BRENTWOOD — The Epping woman accused of hitting a Dunkin’ Donuts worker who later died and then leaving the scene is expected to plead guilty, according to a county prosecutor.
A hearing has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 22 in Rockingham County Superior Court for Andrea Rich to enter a guilty plea to a felony conduct after an accident charge.
Rich, 55, is accused of hitting Ilene Sullivan, 55, of Lee, with her truck while she was outside on break shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 31.
Sullivan, who was a well-known employee at Dunkin’ Donuts, died in the hospital less than a week after the accident.
Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Haggar has said surveillance video showed Rich driving around the back of the Epping business and then getting out after hitting Sullivan.
Rich allegedly looked at Sullivan on the ground before getting back into her truck and leaving without calling for help.
Sullivan, who was seriously injured, remained on the ground for about 10 minutes in frigid temperatures before she was discovered by a customer who got help.
Rich told investigators that she left because she panicked.
She was indicted last month on the single felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of 3½ to 7 years and a $4,000 fine. Haggar said Wednesday that the sentence she will receive after entering the plea is unknown.
According to the indictment, Rich “knowingly failed to immediately stop at the scene of an accident” and provide Sullivan with her name and other license information.
The charge also accuses her of failing to give information to police arriving at the scene or to police at the nearest police station.
The indictment alleges Rich “knew, or should have known, that she had just been involved in an accident that resulted in personal injury or death.”
Sullivan’s family and boyfriend, Tim Clements, insisted that more serious charges were warranted given the extent of the injuries that led to Sullivan’s death.
Haggar argued that bringing additional charges would require the “state’s ability to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt, and at this time, we have found no additional charges that could be supported by the evidence.”
Haggar said the “loss of a life in this case is a tragedy and the allegations that Ms. Rich face are serious” and will carry consequences.
Donald Blaszka, Rich’s defense lawyer, said she will have until July 9 to formally file a notice of her intent to plead guilty. If the notice isn’t filed, the case would head to trial at a later date.
“This is a very difficult case, considering the facts and circumstances and of course the death as a result of the incident,” he said.