Synchro Swimmer Gets 3-Month Sentence for Vehicular Manslaughter
-- January 28, 2004
SONORA, Calif., Jan. 27. A synchronized swimmer’s three-month jail term for vehicular manslaughter was postponed so she can compete in the Athens Olympics, according to an Associated Press story.
Tammy Crow pleaded guilty in the February 16 wreck that killed her two passengers, boyfriend Cody Tatro and 12-year-old Brett Slinger. The three were on their way to a ski resort when Crow lost control of the car.
Crow will serve 90 days in county jail, followed by three years’ probation, for two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. She will also pay nearly $23,000 to Slinger’s family; Tatro’s family did not seek restitution.
Judge Eleanor Provost of Tuolumne County Superior Court postponed the sentence until October 25, allowing Crow to compete in the Summer Games, Aug. 13-29.
Crow, a 26-year-old St. Louis native who lives in Santa Clara, California, broke her arm and bones in her back in the early morning wreck, but she recovered in time to qualify for the Olympic team in December.
She had been drinking the night before the accident, and although she was not legally drunk, prosecutors contended alcohol played a role in the crash.
“I cannot punish you in any way that you haven’t already done, nor can I bring back Cody and Brett. There is no justice here,” Judge Provost said Friday, fighting back tears. “But unfortunately you have to serve as an example to others.”
The U.S. Synchronized Swimming team, based in Indianapolis, refused to comment Monday.
The sentence brought little comfort to Slinger’s relatives. Tatro, 26, taught physical education at the boy’s school.
“Brett will never get his chance to be on the Olympic team,” his father, Devon, tearfully told the judge. “We are left with a broken heart, and any sentence you give her will never repay the living hell we are going through.”