Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that 32-year-old Gerrard Ganz of Syosset, was sentenced Jan. 30 to a term of incarceration of one and one-third years to four years for his involvement in the Sept. 25, 2004 crash that caused the deaths of Westbury teens Guy Victor, 19, and Anelie Thelemaque, 16, and Bronx teens Shauna Mattison, 15, and Anna Mendoza Burgess, 16. Ganz's vehicle collided head-on with a car occupied by the victims on Old Country Road at School Street in Westbury, sending the vehicle into a pole and igniting it in flames. Only the driver, then 17-year-old Tiffany Hagigal of Westbury, survived.
In November, Ganz was convicted by Nassau County jury of four counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide, as well as Driving While Impaired. Judge Jerald Carter's sentence was the maximum allowed punishment Ganz could receive resulting from his November conviction and will be served concurrently. In sentencing Ganz, Judge Carter admitted he wished he could wield more power in imposing a more just sentence for a crime that resulted in the deaths of four innocent teenagers.
Rice echoed those statements. "Judge Carter was doing everything in his power to give these families some sense of justice," stated Rice. "Unfortunately, the power afforded to him under New York State Law prohibits a more severe penalty for an atrocious decision made by this defendant. We must look closely at these laws and push the New York State Legislature to provide us the ability to better prosecute these crimes and to impose more appropriate sentences upon conviction. Drunk driving is an epidemic in Nassau County and we need to acknowledge it and look to change what's happening or one day the innocent victim will be a relative or friend of yours."
Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh handled the case. Ganz was represented by Steven Scaring of Garden City.