Man Charged In Woodstock Fatality; Victim’s Mother Opposes Prison
Woodstock — Charges have been filed against a 21-year-old Woodstock man involved in a crash on Fletcher Hill Road that killed his best friend.
Justin Pierce is charged with driving under the influence with a fatality resulting in the death of 22-year-old Jon Ferrero. The men and their families were close. Ferrero was engaged to Pierce’s sister, Morgan.
The childhood friends were returning home on Aug. 18 after winning a championship baseball game.
Pierce was driving his gray Chevrolet pickup truck northwest on Fletcher Hill Road when the vehicle struck a guardrail, flipped and hit a tree before coming to rest in a brook, police said. Ferrero was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ferrero’s mother, Nancy, said Tuesday night that she does not want Pierce to go to prison, and said she would reach out to prosecutors. She said she would like to see something good come from her son’s death, and said perhaps she and Pierce could produce educational videos about their experience that other young people could learn from.
“I feel like Justin is my son. And Morgan is my daughter, and both of them will always be my kids,” Nancy Ferrero said.
Ferrero added that she’s also looking for closure, and she thinks that the charge against Pierce and potential trial will just compound the pain.
“I just want it all to be over,” Ferrero said. “I have absolutely no intention of making any legal claims against Justin. I don’t think that’s right.”
The Vermont State Police Crash Reconstruction Team, Woodstock Police and the Department of Public Safety crime lab determined that Pierce was speeding when he lost control of his vehicle. Pierce’s blood alcohol content was greater than the legal limit, according to Woodstock police.
After the accident, Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish said that alcohol containers were found at the scene.
When the Pierce family was reached by phone Tuesday, a woman said the family had no comment.
Ferrero said that if her son had been wearing a seat belt, it would have saved his life.
“The bottom line is that Jon wasn’t buckled or he’d be out hunting with Justin and Morgan tonight,” Ferrero said. “That’s why he died. The injuries would not have been fatal. It’s simple, regardless of speed and what kids do on back roads with their trucks today.”
Pierce has been cited to appear at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 12 in Windsor Superior Court.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.