A Dorchester man will serve 20 years in prison for a drunk driving crash in the South End in 2010 that left one of his friends dead.
Warren Tyler, 47, received the maximum penalty for manslaughter this week, after a Suffolk County jury found him guilty of being drunk and causing the crash that killed his friend, according to District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office.
Warren was found guilty of both motor vehicle homicide and manslaughter by operating under the influence in the 2010 crash that killed his friend and passenger, 46-year-old Johnny Williams, Jr. Jurors acquitted Tyler of an additional charge of receiving a stolen motor vehicle.
Prior to sentencing, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke dismissed the charge of motor vehicle homicide on the grounds that it was duplicative of the manslaughter charge, which carries a longer maximum sentence of 20 years. Prosecutors recommended a term of 19 to 20 years in state prison; Locke imposed a sentence of 18 to 20 years.
At around 12:20 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2010, Boston Police spotted a blue Mazda minivan that had been reported stolen less than an hour earlier. Officers followed the vehicle on Blue Hill Avenue, but before they could pull the car over, they found the minivan had crasehd into a delivery truck at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and East Berkeley Street. On seeing the smoke, officers activated their lights and sirens and called for medical assistance.
Tyler was found in the driver’s seat with broken bones. Williams sustained fatal injuries to his head and chest in the crash, which crushed the passenger’s side of the vehicle where Williams was seated.
Tyler was transported to Boston Medical Center after the crash, where he told an EMT who was treating him, “Dude, I’m drunk.” Blood tests determined that Tyler’s blood alcohol level was a minimum of .14 – almost twice the legal limit of .08. Police executing a search warrant on the vehicle and found vodka bottles inside a bag along with personal papers belonging to Tyler.
“Nothing in this world right now could make me feel any better than him being here,” Williams’ younger brother told the court. “He was a strong guy. We always ran to him for help. He was always there for us.”