Rochester man who killed 2 people in head-on crash sentenced to prison

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester man who killed two people in a crash in Gates was sentenced Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors say Anthony Vandoren was under the influence of four different drugs when he caused that crash that killed a couple in Gates in September 2020.

“Hopefully we can have a sense of closure from now that the sentencing has now happened after three delays now due to COVID so I’m just glad hopefully we can have some sort of peace," said Christine Lawson, one of Lawson’s seven children.

It’s been a long year and three months for Christine Lawson and Kelly Scott after their parents, William Lawson and Diane Donnelly were killed in a car crash caused by Anthony Vandoren.

“My mom was my best friend she spent all—every day—at my house, helped me with the kids and I still look for her,” Scott said.

Vandoren was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to being under the influence when he crashed head-on into the couple in Gates.

The crash happened while Vandoren had a suspended license and was driving a work vehicle for his boss. Vandoren had has been ticketed by multiple police in the past for driving with a suspended license for the past 20 years.

Both Christine and Kelly said Diane and William were planning to leave for vacation a day after the crash and now their family says they are missing so many significant life events.

“It was very heartbreaking to walk into that apartment and find packed suitcases and they won’t be able to take that trip,” Lawson said.

At his sentencing, Vandoren said he’s spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to say and said he knows there’s nothing he can do or say to ease the pain of the families and wishes he could go back to that day and change a different path.

“I think he has a problem but I also think that the needs to understand that he is being held accountable for the mistake he claims he made and I think that’s the one thing that helps me moving forward is that he is going to be held accountable,” Scott said.

Judge Schiano denied Vandoren to be furloughed so he was taken away without the chance to say goodbye to his family.

Christine and Kelly said they are going to work together and go to the state to hopefully make some changes and get legislation passed when it comes to employers checking driver’s licenses to prevent another accident from happening in the future.