Barre man pleads guilty in crash that killed elderly twins

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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) Judge Howard VanBenthuysen: Are you nervous today?
Shaun Duprey: Extremely.

In court Thursday, an apparently emotional Shaun Duprey of Barre admitted to causing a crash that left two women dead. Despite a suspended license, Duprey told the judge he drove a pickup truck on Route 62 on the afternoon of Feb. 22. The vehicle had bad brakes and Duprey was speeding. After running a red light, he slammed into another car.

"Mr. Duprey's truck struck almost dead-on in a classic T-bone collision," Washington County Prosecutor Scott Williams said.

Inside the car Duprey hit-- driver Teresa White and passenger Verna Cote. The 80-year-olds were twin sisters.

"People saw them all the time together. They were never separated," said Ashley Demers, Cote's granddaughter.

Family members say the inseparable siblings lived across the street from each other.

"I took care of her. I helped with the bills with her. Now, it's just an empty house," said Tracy Cote, Verna Cote's son.

Duprey pleaded guilty to two counts of gross negligent operation with death resulting. He also confessed to selling cocaine and over 200 mg of heroin just two months after the crash while he was out on bail.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen: You're pleading guilty on these facts because you really are guilty, is that right?
Shaun Duprey: Yes, your honor.

The judge accepted Duprey's guilty pleas and the agreement that will keep him behind bars for nearly a decade.

"I'm just happy it's moving forward," Demers said. "He's taking responsibility, I guess, for his actions."

"I would like to see a little longer sentence," Tracy Cote said. "He's affected so many lives. We'll never get them back, we'll never get both of them back."

Under the plea deal, Duprey will serve a minimum of eight years in prison and spend 16 more on probation. Four misdemeanor charges were also dismissed. Duprey will be sentenced in the next few weeks.