[Saratoga County, NY] – Today, in Saratoga County Court before the Hon. James A. Murphy III, 45-year-old Richard T. Irelan of Johnstown, NY, was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 2 to 6 years in a state correctional facility. Irelan had previously entered a guilty plea to Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class D felony under Penal Law Section 125.12(1).

The charges against Irelan originated from a tragic incident that occurred on July 30, 2023, in the Town of Wilton. Operating a Harley Davidson motorcycle erratically, Irelan rear-ended a pickup truck on the Exit 15 I-87 southbound off ramp. The impact resulted in the ejection of the passenger on Irelan’s motorcycle, who was rushed to Saratoga Hospital and later succumbed to her injuries.

An investigation by the New York State Police at the scene determined that Irelan was intoxicated at the time of the crash. A subsequent blood test revealed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .09% and the presence of cannabis in his system.

The investigation was conducted by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Troop G Collision Reconstruction Unit.

During the sentencing, the victim’s sister, accompanied by her family, delivered an emotional victim impact statement. She expressed the profound impact of her family’s loss stating, “On July 30th, our lives changed forever. Three children were left without a mom. A family lost their daughter, sister, aunt, and niece. Richard was in control of another person’s life. He was being careless. This was more than an accident.”

District Attorney Karen Heggen remarked, “This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the dangers of operating a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the victim, who lost her life in this senseless and preventable tragedy. We will continue to advocate for justice and hold accountable those responsible for such devastating outcomes.”

Bureau Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit of the District Attorney’s Office, Shawn Lescault, stated, “Today’s sentencing reinforces the commitment of our community to prioritize safety on our roads. We commend the diligence of New York State Police and the dedication of the legal team in ensuring accountability in cases like these. Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family during this difficult time.”

It is important to note that the maximum possible sentence for Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree is an indeterminate term of 2 1/3 to 7 years. The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to advocating for tougher penalties for those who choose to drive under the influence and kill or seriously injure someone, in order to protect our community and prevent future tragedies.


Dated: January 19, 2024