PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A distracted driver operating with a suspended license who crashed a box truck head-on and killed a popular Maine middle school teacher back in 2016 was sentenced to prison Monday.
Joshua McNally, 33, of Westbrook, entered guilty pleas for manslaughter and causing death while driving with a suspended license charges. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison, with all but six years suspended. He will also be on probation for four years and have his license suspended for 15 years.
“Somehow saying I’m sorry just isn’t enough,” McNally told a judge during his sentencing.
The family of 29-year-old Adam Perron told a judge that they lost a loving husband, new father, and dedicated teacher at Lake Region Middle School.
“I love him and miss him every day,” said Elizabeth Perron, the victim’s wife. “I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the loss you’ve brought upon my family.”
Prosecutor Matt Tice called this case “a manslaughter waiting to happen.” He said multiple witnesses reported McNally driving erratically on April 20, 2016.
Tice said McNally veered into the wrong lane, nearly hitting an ambulance. He crossed the center line a second time, almost hitting a tractor trailer. Minutes later, driving down Route 302 in Casco, he crossed the center line a third time, hitting Perron head on.
Cell phone records show McNally had been using his phone for calls and texts while driving. His last call was to a friend who supplied him drugs.
“Josh McNally made a number of choices that day, and all of his choices were bad,” said Tice.
McNally had lost his license in March of 2016 for failing to pay a fine for a distracted driving charge. At the time of the fatal crash, he was operating with a suspended license, driving a commercial truck for Native Maine Produce.
“I hope you suffer with the memory that because of your reckless driving actions, you killed my only son,” said Diane Parker, Adam Perron’s mother.
Perron’s family said they were hoping for a longer prison sentence, but they understand the judge’s decision. They hope this case sends the message that using a cell phone behind the wheel can kill.
“This didn’t need to happen, and I would hate for it to happen to anyone else,” said Elizabeth Perron. Her daughter is now 3 years old. She said her toddler constantly asks for her daddy, and says she misses him.