The Hartford Courant reports that Austin Buckmann tearfully apologized when he was sentenced Thursday in Enfield Superior Court for the death of 17-year-old Tommy Tanksi, a Simsbury High School senior. Buckmann had pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter.
Judge Howard Scheinblum said he admired how Buckmann reached out to Tanski’s family. His family and Tanski’s sat together in court.
The judge sentenced Buckmann to 3 1/2 years in prison, suspended after 8 months, and four years’ probation with drug and alcohol screenings and community service.
Buckmann was driving drunk with three other teens in his car when he hit a utility pole in Simsbury. Tankski was killed. No one else was hurt.