In January in the Town of Providence authorities said 18-year-old Brian Vecchio attempted to pass another vehicle at 98 mph in a no-passing zone, lost control, and crashed into a utility pole. The passenger, 17-year-old Noelle Johnsen, died at Saratoga Hospital.
“She was beautiful, very smart. She would tell you like it is,” said Johnsen’s mother Melody Scaia. “She had a heart of gold. She wanted to be everybody’s friend, and she was, and she was my angel.”
Brian Vecchio was sentenced to state prison for 1 1/3 – 4 years in Saratoga County Court on Friday. Scaia said she believes the judge’s sentencing was appropriate.
“Heartache for him, for my daughter, but he had to pay for what he did and he will forever, but he’s sorry,” said Scaia.
She said anger remains but that she does forgive.
“[Noelle] didn’t want any grudges,” said Scaia. “She did not want me to hold a grudge against [Brian], and I know that she’s looking down on me and saying, ‘Thanks, mom. He was my friend.’”
In order to help others avoid the incredible pain so many feel, after his time in prison, Vecchio plans to highlight the mistake he made and its consequences as a warning.
“Speaking at schoool like he said he wants to to make sure other people understand what can happen in an automobile accident,” said Vecchio’s attorney Joseph Hammer.
And with the support of Johnsen’s mom, hopefully future generations can avoid the heartbreak that will be with them forever.
“I told him to keep his chin up and that I would be here for him if he needed to talk to me and that I know that he was sorry and that I was sorry,” said Scaia.