Victims' family: Guilty Wesley verdict should be message to community

By Kelly McCarthy

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) They came wearing T-shirts and clinging old photos that showed smiling faces and happy memories.

Families of two of the victims killed in a 2011 drunk driving crash said a guilty verdict doesn't replace losing a loved one.

But it should serve as a message of caution.

In May 2011, Jaclyn Wesley was driving on Interstate 88 in the town of Fenton when her SUV veered off the road and into the Chenango River.

All three of her passengers were killed.

The bodies of 39-year-old Carri Michalski, 25-year-old Robert Moorehead and 45-year-old Robert Marshall were later recovered from the Chenango River.

"It's been so long," said Robert Moorehead's mother, Karen Moorehead, "It's been two years four months and four days and I know it'll never bring our son back, but we're here to the end to get justice."

Wesley was convicted on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.08.

"She chose to drink, chose to take her pills and drove," said Tosha Williams, the daughter of Carrie Michalski, "And this is what she deserved."

In return, these family members said they've had to live with only memories of a mother and daughter.

"She just took so much away from us," said Kathy Moore, mother of Carri Michalski.

Remembering the lives of each victim isn't enough for these families.

"She never got to meet my youngest (daughter)," Williams said, "Who looks just like her."

The families hope to share a strong message against drinking and driving.

"I hope someday I can be strong enough," Moorehead said, "So I can go to these schools and tell these young children do not get in a car that anybody is driving that has been drinking."

It's an order of prevention for other local families.

"So many people you could hurt, kill, they have families, think about your own family," Williams said, "Think about their families and just don't drink and drive."