Family wants justice after loved one allegedly killed by repeat offender

by: Tony Thomas Updated:


ATLANTA - A metro Atlanta family is pleading for justice after their 70-year old loved one was killed in an accident.

Jean Laltrello's relatives warn the judicial system and state law will allow a repeat of what happened if the rules aren't changed.

The plea comes as prosecutors in the case said they should be receiving the investigative file from the Georgia State Patrol any day.

The family said the man who hit Laltrello should have never been legally driving to begin with, but was allowed time and time again to drive after being charged with serious traffic violations.

"It was definitely an incident just waiting to happen. To me, it is no different someone playing Russian roulette with a pistol," Laltrello's daughter Dawn Fernander said.

The GSP said Christopher McIntyre, 24, was driving the pickup truck that crushed Laltrello's car and killed her.

Court records show McIntyre has been charged with at least 11 moving violations since 2006. Those include tickets for going 111 in a 70 mph zone in 2011 and 87 in a 65 zone last year.

McIntyre was also charged at least twice for passing in a no passing zone and one other time for reckless driving.

"Each time he has been given his license back and eventually that license allowed him to kill someone," Fernander said.

But under current state law, unless prosecutors can prove McIntyre or anyone else was driving drunk or recklessly, most cases like this are misdemeanors. That means little if any jail time.

"We feel like his license needs to be suspended and he needs to undergo some serious training and learn from this so no one else has to die," said Laltrello's granddaughter, Savannah Wall. "He's not really looking at any serious time; he's not looking at having license revoked."

Channel 2's Tony Thomas talked with Mcintyre's, Mac Pilgrim, attorney who told him by phone his client swerved to avoid a turning horse trailer when the accident happened and McIntyre's past doesn't affect this case.

"It doesn't matter what you did four days ago. What matters is what you were doing at the time of the accident," Mac Pilgrim said.

Wall doesn't agree.

"We want to make sure her death was not in vain," she said.

The family has set up a Facebook page to urge prosecutors to charge this as a felony. That page can be found under the title Justice for Jean Garren Laltrello.

The district attorney for Carroll County, Pete Skandalakis, told Thomas no decision on felony or misdemeanor charges have been made so far.