FARMINGTON —The Industry man who was driving drunk when he hit and killed an East Wilton woman in the early hours of New Year’s Day, then fled the scene after “trying to wake her up,” pleaded guilty Monday in a deal that angered the family of the woman he killed.

Tommy Clark, 25, pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death in a plea deal that would cap the suspended part of a 10-year felony sentence on the aggravated OUI charge at five years. Judge William Stokes can accept or reject the deal at the July 25 sentencing. If he rejects the deal, Clark has the right to withdraw his guilty pleas.

Taylor Gaboury, 21, of East Wilton, was pronounced dead at the scene on U.S. Route 2 on Jan. 1 after the 1:40 a.m. crash.

Clark told police after he was arrested that he knew he had hit something but didn’t know what it was, then later told them he was aware he’d hit a person in the early hours of New Year’s Day, according to court records. Clark’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was 0.129 percent, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Following Monday’s court proceedings, Gaboury’s family said Clark’s plea deal was too lenient.

“She had way more to do, way more to say,” said her father, Ricky Gaboury. “He took her life, he took a great life.”

A conviction of aggravated OUI, Class B, carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine and three years probation. A conviction of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury or death, Class C, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and two-years probation.

Clark pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned on Jan. 4 and was released from Franklin County Jail on Jan. 26, when his mother posted $50,000 real estate bail.

Stokes Monday accepted the change in plea and set Clark’s post-conviction bail as the same $50,000 real estate bail he was released on.

Clark was represented by attorney Thomas Carey. Assistant District Attorney James Andrews represented the state.

Gaboury’s family, though present at court on Monday, will not have a chance to speak in court until Clark’s sentencing hearing.

Following the court proceedings, Ricky Gaboury and Tena Trask, Taylor Gaboury’s mother, said they hope Stokes will reject the deal at sentencing.

“It’s in the judge’s hands. Hopefully he feels our pain … and realizes the impact this has had on this family and this community,” Ricky Gaboury said. “It’s more than one life. It’s all of them.”

If Stokes accepts the deal, it would also mean that there could be no more charges against Clark in connection with Gaboury’s death. Her family believes that the charges brought against him do no reflect the crime he committed and were dissatisfied that he was not charged with manslaughter.

“He’s responsible for her death, and we feel that he should be charged with her death,” Trask said.

Friends and family of Taylor Gaboury filled the Franklin County Superior courtroom for the 2:30 p.m. change in plea hearing. They wore purple and held irises and each other as Clark stood before the judge. Ricky Gaboury seldom took his eyes off Clark during the proceedings, which lasted about half an hour.

Taylor Gaboury was walking home to her parents house along Route 2 when she was struck and killed. When officers arrived at the scene, they found her unresponsive and not breathing with no identification or cellphone. Her parents tentatively identified her the following day.

In an interview with the Morning Sentinel the week after her death, her parents said she was about halfway home when she was struck and killed.

Prosecutor Andrews listed the evidence that would have been presented had the case gone to trial, including statements made by Clark during an interview with Farmington Police Sgt. Edward Hastings where he admitted to checking on Taylor Gaboury after he had hit her with his Dodge Dart, but fled after he realized she was dead.

According to the affidavit filed by Hastings, Clark told police he fled because “he was nervous and needed a lighter.”

The testimony of one of the passengers in Clark’s car at the time of the hit and run would have also been presented at trial. Andrews said that the woman would have testified that she was sitting in the front passenger seat when Clark took his eyes off the road as if to change lanes, and then she saw something hit and fly off of the front of the car.

Clark had left two female passengers at the entrance of Webber Insurance, just down the road from where the accident had occurred. When police arrived at the scene, the two women said they had found a woman on the embankment when they saw a shoe in the road. After bringing the women back to the Colonial Motel where they were staying, police returned to the motel because they felt the women weren’t telling them the whole story.

They found Clark sitting in a car next to his damaged 2015 Dodge Dart, which was missing the passenger-side mirror and had an extensively damaged passenger’s side headlight and fender as well as a broken windshield.

Clark was taken into custody and brought to Franklin Memorial Hospital where he underwent a blood alcohol test.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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