make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

ONLY ON 3: Man convicted of third DWI after hitting woman and baby with truck

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Man sentenced to third DWI after hitting woman and baby with truck

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- A woman recovers from stage four cancer, then gets hit by a drunk driver, but it was not the driver's first offense. Peter Generelly has now been convicted of his third DWI. He hit Patti Rippel and her baby last August not even 24 hours after he bonded out of jail for his second DWI.

"It's like a loaded gun driving a car. He'll kill somebody next time," Rippel said. "We were very lucky, very blessed to be here."

Rippel took her son to get ice cream in Surf City to celebrate her recovery from cancer. On her walk back, she was pushing her baby in his stroller, when they were hit head-on by Generelly's truck.

"Just left us on the side of the road without looking back," Rippel said in court. "He didn't even care if we were dead or alive. I didn't have a choice when I got cancer. He has a choice with his disease alcoholism. He chooses every day whether he decides to take a drink or not."

Two of the witnesses who chased his truck were retired FBI agents.

"When they got out of their cars to help this lady and her baby, they expected someone to be dead because of the speed of the collision," Assistant District Attorney Joe Bowman told the judge. Bowman said Generelly was traveling about 30 or 40 mph. Police found marijuana and empty beer cans in his truck. Generelly was arrested for a DWI in Hampstead the night before and got another DWI in South Carolina two months before that when he rear-ended a sheriff's deputy.

"You should take advantage of every second you have, and it saddens me to think that other people can't feel how precious that life is," Rippel said. "He obviously has his own issues if he's drinking like that."

Wednesday, the party finally ended for Generelly. Judge Richard Doughton sentenced him to 19-23 months in prison. After he serves his sentence, Generelly will be on probation for five years and required to get treatment.

"He could've killed this child. He could've killed this lady. He could've killed anybody out there," Doughton said.

"I never thought I was going to live long enough to see my baby go to school, to graduate, and I've gotten this far, and I'm not going to let somebody else take it away from me nor am I going to let him take it away from somebody else because that's what he'll do if just doesn't get help," Rippel said.

If Generelly violates his probation, he will face another eight to ten months in prison. His attorney said Generelly chose to plead guilty instead of taking the case to trial because he wanted to do the right thing and take responsibility for his actions. In court, Generelly apologized to Rippel.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


"Man sentenced to third DWI..."?

I didn't realize you could be sentenced to any DWI. I always thought one was sentenced to jail time and license revocation.

Who writes these headlines? Better yet, who proof-reads them?

Truly Sad

that it took nearly a year to get him before the bar of justice. But now he goes off to serve his sentence. Probation will likely require random testing or wearing one of those devices that measures alcohol and drugs through the pores of your skin.

And that's how cases conclude in counties not overseen by Mr. Gore.

Tom, there's a sadder story

Tom, there's a sadder story on this blog out of Charlotte... a three time DWI convict killed a 17 year old girl. The court was limited to sixty days for the imposition of the "ankle bracelet".

I saw that

and if you read the article on this site, you will note I posted a suggestion that every state Senator & Representative be emailed, with an additional email to Marc Basnight & Bev, pushing for a statute revision increasing the time span for multiple incident offenders.

If all you do is Post, nothing will change.

Truly Sad Indeed

Not surprising coming from the puff puff pass puff population down there...Maybe he should stick to just being a mime like the rest of the motorists...

He did what he thought would

He did what he thought would save his sorry tail, not to take any responsibility. He shoud not heve been on the road, but since he was, and hurt someone, he should have gotten 20 years instead of what amounts to a slap on the wrist considering what he did.