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Appeals Court Affirms Conviction Against Pembroke Woman Found Guilty Of OUI Manslaughter

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Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120

BROCKTON – The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the conviction of a Pembroke woman who was under the influence when she caused a car crash that left a Bridgewater woman dead and two others injured, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced.

At approximately 3:30 pm on October 3, 2017, Massachusetts State Police Detectives in the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office were notified by Brockton Police of a fatal motor vehicle crash at 179 Quincy Street in Brockton. State Police and Brockton Police responded, as well as the State Police CARS Unit and Crime Scene Services, and an investigation commenced.

Three vehicles were involved in the motor vehicle crash and the investigation determined that two females were in an SUV traveling north on Quincy Street when they were struck from behind by an Audi sedan being driven by Danielle Mastro of Pembroke. The investigation further determined that the rear-ending impact of the Audi pushed the SUV into the southbound side of Quincy Street and into the path of a triaxle dump truck. The impact caused the truck to rollover and come to rest on its side. Mastro exited the Audi and fled the scene on foot, but was located moments later by Brockton Police officers. The female driver of the SUV, Deborah Combra, 58, of Bridgewater, was transported to Brockton Hospital where she died as a result of her injuries. The other female passenger in the SUV, was taken to Brockton Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the dump truck stopped upon impact and remained on scene. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Through their investigation and witness statements, detectives determined that prior to the crash in Brockton, Mastro drove recklessly through the towns of Hanson, East Bridgewater and Whitman and failed to stop for a police officer in Hanson. During hospital treatment, Mastro’s blood alcohol level was between 0.136 and 0.137.

In October, 2019, Brockton Superior Court Judge Angel Kelly found Danielle Mastro, guilty of one count of manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Mastro was sentenced to serve 10-13 years in State Prison on the charge.

On appeal, Mastro challenged the manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor conviction. Today, in an unpublished decision, the state Appeals Court upheld the defendant’s conviction, finding that there was sufficient evidence of her wanton or reckless conduct.

“I commend the Appeals Court on their thoughtful decision,” DA Cruz said. “At trial, on the day of sentencing, family members filled the courtroom to remember a remarkable woman who was looking forward to her retirement and becoming a grandmother. This defendant’s reckless actions on that day robbed this family of their loved one. I am hopeful that with today’s decision, the family of Deborah Combra can finally be at peace with their memories.”     

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Russell Eonas at trial, and the appeal was handled by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Nevins.

February 3, 2022