L.I. Woman Sentenced In Heroin Car Crash

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880 / 1010 WINS) — Wednesday’s sentencing did little to ease the pain for a tortured family who lost their 11-year-old daughter to a drugged driver.

For the Sipes family, the punishment does not fit the crime., reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Tearfully clutching a framed picture of Courtney Sipes, her anguished mother, father and brother – their family now reduced to three – struggled out of the courtroom with a message.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

“The need for stiffer penalties when it comes to leaving the scene of an accident,” mother Lavena Sipes said.

Maureen Lambert had just pleaded guilty, and will serve four to 12 years in prison. The 21-year-old Stony Brook woman admitted to ingesting heroin before climbing behind the wheel of a 6,800-pound SUV.

courtney sipes L.I. Woman Sentenced In Heroin Car Crash

Courtney Sipes (Handout)

She weaved down Main Street in Smithtown at speeds of 60 miles an hour. As 11-year-old Courtney crossed the street with her mom and brother on the way to her music lesson, she was struck with such force that she came right out of her shoes.

Lambert fled the scene of the crime.

At the sentencing, Lambert’s mother rushed, sobbing, out of court, as her daughter apologized for mowing down young Courtney Sipes.

“I think she has to say it pretty loud,” father Tracy Sipes said. “It’s a long way for Courtney to hear it from the grave.”

The fatal crash drew attention to the heroin problem on Long Island, which destroys not only the families of addicts but also victims like Courtney, say the Sipes.

“What we as a family will miss the most: all the wonderful, sweet things she did; her laughter, smiles and talent; the potential that she had to be something really special and to do such good for society,” Lavena said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

“You have no other choice than to be strong with your family,” Courtney’s brother, Cameron Sipes, said. “It is the only way you can survive through something like this.”

The Sipes family wants changes in the law. They say Lambert beat the system – she didn’t turn herself in for 26 hours, after the heroin had worn off, reducing her potential culpability and receiving a lighter sentence.

The judge had little sympathy for Lambert, scolding her for the reckless choices and saying he will recommend she serve the full 12-year sentence.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • Nick

    The government should just start flooding the market with cheap drugs – SPIKED cheap drugs. After all the druggies OD’d, we would not have any more problems. No drug users = no drug gangs. Crime will go down. And our medical costs will also go down. It’s a WIN WIN.

  • haywood jablowme

    hey thats a good idea…………..i can take heroin, get in my car, and take out my ex-wife and get a minimum sentence………………hhhhhmmmmmm



    • The Good Samaritan

      Joe Aitch,
      The sentence was too harsh

      The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • Leseos

    She choose to take the drugs, she choose to drive. She killed someone…
    Life withour parole would be the appropriate sentence.
    That lady 20 yrs ago who had the affair with a teen age boy is serving life – without, and she did not even pull the trigger.

    Seems to be an imbalance of justice if you ask me,……

    • The Good Samaritan

      which case was that

      The Good Samaritan has spoken

      • leseos

        20 years ago, you probably were not a ood samaritan yet…..



  • The Good Samaritan

    The sentence is too severe

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • Crazy

    So then drug users can go into it thinking that they will never do prison time if they kill someone then clean themselves up later. According to you, cleaning themselves up after having had a drug problem should mean they get a lighter sentence. Your poor bleeding heart.

  • Gregg

    Can’t understand why people drunk or stoned just don’t drive !! Seems simple. Idiots !

  • Just askin'

    Does heroin make your eyebrows fall out?

  • ttc

    LI has a real problem with impaired drivers. It seems like someone gets on the highway the wrong way like once a week.

  • The Good Samaritan

    Leroy very good points plus she did turn herself into the police

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • leroy

    This poor girl had a drug problem , which she has now overcome . I think she has been through enough . She should be given probation . Please its the holiday season , time for forgiving . I feel so bad for this poor child , let her be .

    Happy holiday’s
    Leroy Jackson , Bayside

    • Cedric Dawkins

      Mr. Jackson,

      Old enuff to kill = old enuff to die.

  • The Good Samaritan

    jojo the law is the and u mst respect it

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • Jojo

    @The Good Samaritan, you should really stay off this site. You sound ridiculous. 5-10 years for a life. I’m sorry but this idiot deserves to spend the rest of her life bedhind bars with nothing but bread and water 3 times a day.

  • mc

    Love when scripture is taken out of context. This woman commited a crime and should face the penalty of such. But lets not forget the part of scripture that says If your enemy slaps you on the right cheek turn and give them your left. Lets not for get that it says to Love your enemies.
    This woman should go to Jail, the family as well as the woman should be prayed for and supported because in the end it could be anyone of us affected.

  • Micha

    Sad, all the way around. At least the girl pleaded guilty and spared the family a trial. Not like that dum drug addict who hit that woman in her yard and told reporters “she was old!!” like it mattered…

  • The Good Samaritan

    FreedomFighter81 what happens if the pedestrian darted in front of the car?

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

    • FreedomFighter81

      Maybe the Druggie Whote shouldn’t have been doing 60 in a 30 then

  • FreedomFighter81

    5 to 10 Years??? An eye for an eye as the lord says. If it was one of my children i would have done the county a service and just killed her on the spot to save us, the taxpayers, some money, and my wife the heartache..

  • The Good Samaritan

    Sometimes the judges here will overstep their boundaries and give an excessive sentence which violates the law.

    she deserves at least 5-10 years in jail.

    • C.J.

      And rehab?

    • The Good Samaritan

      The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • jcwmoderator

    Lock her up and throw away the key. Let junkies kill themselves – not others.

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