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Drunken driver who killed boy gets 20 years

May 11, 2011 | 09:06 AM
Elkhorn — On Sept. 2, 2010, Mike Kilar lost his shadow, mini-me and baseball and fishing partner to a drunken driver.

The father, who suffered from a broken vertebrae in a crash that killed his 6-year-old son, Treyton, said he was physically and mentally broken.

"My son was killed by a senseless act of destruction, and one that could have been avoided," Mike Kilar told Walworth County Judge David Reddy during a May 9 sentencing hearing.

Scott D. Dragotta, 44, of rural East Troy, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in two separate crashes that injured five people and killed the young boy.

Dragotta also was sentenced to 10 years of extended supervision and, as part of that sentence, he will have to visit Treyton's gravesite on the anniversary of the crash each of those years.

Around 8 p.m. Dragotta crashed his vehicle into another car on Highways ES and D, but fled the scene at a high rate of speed after the crash. Minutes after fleeing the first accident, Dragotta again crashed his vehicle.

It was during the second crash that he killed Treyton. After the accident, Dragotta left his vehicle, approached Mike Kilar, and blamed him for the accident.

Throughout the hearing, family and friends of the Kilars and the Dragotta's shed tears — so many in fact that security passed out extra boxes of Kleenex.

Treyton's friends and family donned T-shirts with the boy's face on them, and so many of his supporters attended the hearing that some had to stand in the hallway outside the courtroom.

Throughout the hearing, Dragotta wept as he listened to the Kilars describe their loss and when his own children and wife told the judge why they need their father and husband.

When Dragotta addressed the court and Treyton's family, his voice was unsteady and he took breaks as he cried.

"All the people who know me will know how this homicide has greatly devastated my heart and soul," he said.

Dragotta, who said he remembers little of the accident, also apologized directly to Mike and Mary Kilar, Treyton's mother, and Treyton's siblings.

"I'm sorry that you will never again teach Treyton, see him off to school, read him a bedtime story, tuck him in a night or take care of him when he is sick," Dragotta said.

Dragotta's family members also said he had constantly said he would have exchanged his life for Treyton if he had the choice.

"Treyton please forgive me. I'm so sorry. God, please forgive me," Dragotta said.

A baseball fan

Treyton loved the Milwaukee Brewers, so much in fact that he was buried in his Prince Fielder jersey. He dreamed of playing for his beloved team one day.

Mary Kilar said her son's bright future was cut short.

"He always thought before he acted, he had trouble understanding how people made choices that hurt others," Mary said.

Treyton's mom also said she has no hatred toward Dragotta, but instead prays for his family because they are also his victims.

Treyton's maternal grandmother, Eileen Jaskolski, said she can't understand why Dragotta didn't stop after the first crash to help the people in the other vehicle.

"Why didn't the human being in you take over?" Eileen asked.

Vicki Stodddard, who was injured during the first crash said she was returning home from the Walworth County Fair the night of the accident.

"Why didn't Scott stop when he hit us," Stoddard said. "Why didn't Scott's friends tell him not to drive. Scott should have been hurt or killed, not Treyton."

Another family affected

Kimmie Dragotta, 16, said her dad took her to father-daughter square dancing, taught her to fish and spent time with her in the hospital when she was in a car accident.

"Without him we are falling apart," she said.

His son, Dustin, said without his father he has been without his best friend.

"He also has a deep-deep love and commitment to our family," Dustin said.

Lisa Dragotta, who had been married to Scott for almost 20 years, apologized to the Kilars for her husband's actions.

"I'm so sorry for your loss," she said. "I can't imagine what you are going through."

Lisa said her husband is a good man who helps others when they need it.

"He is not the alcoholic or the monster the media has portrayed him as," Lisa said. "Scott's punishment began the minute he realized he caused Treyton's death and injured so many others."

The sentence

District Attorney Phillip Koss choked up when he talked about Treyton after drawing parallels to the young boy and his own children.

"It's the loss of potential that makes this different," Koss said. "Anytime you lose a child there is the missed opportunities in life."

Koss agreed with Scott Dragotta's friends and family that he probably wouldn't drive drunk again. However, that doesn't mean Dragotta shouldn't end up in prison.

"He will probably not re-offend again, but that isn't the only reason we have here as a deterrent," Koss said.

More than an hour after the accident, Koss said Dragotta's blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit.

"It is approaching about three times the legal limit at the time of the crash," Koss said.

Koss asked Reddy to sentence Dragotta to 25 years in a state prison, the maximum sentence was 28 years.

Dragotta's defense attorney, Larry Steen, argued his client should receive the same sentence that others received for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Steen said Krystal Hart, a girl who while 16, killed a man while driving drunk, received a seven-year sentence. He also said Donovan Espinosa, an illegal immigrant who while high blew a stop sign and killed a man, received a 10-year sentence.

"A seven to 10 year prison sentence is consistent with the other cases," Steen said.

However, Reddy decided to impose a sentence that matched what a pre-sentence investigator recommended.

"Mr. Dragotta, you chose to have that first drink and intended to have every one after that," Reddy said.

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