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Whitelaw teen sentenced for March 2012 double fatal crash


MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A Manitowoc County teenager is sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for causing the crash which killed two other teens.

18-year-old Zachary Gauthier of Whitelaw pled no contest to the March 2012 crash that killed 16-year-olds Zachary Zahn and Chelsie Harding.

Manitowoc County District Attorney Mark Rohrer says the car was traveling between 80 and 90 miles per hour when it crashed. Days before that incident, Gauthier crashed his own car.

Before the sentence was handed down, Harding and Zahn's parents had harsh words for Gauthier.

"You had the responsibility to influence Zachary and Chelsie in a positive way," an emotional Kristy Zahn said according to FOX 11. "Unfortunately, these two 16-year-old kids had to pay the ultimate price for you to learn your lesson."

Other charges of bail jumping and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent were dismissed, but read in to the conviction.

After Gauthier's attorney read a written statement from Gauthier, the 18-year-old addressed the families of Zahn and Harding.

"I really wish I could change the past and you guys could have them back," said Gauthier. 

Judge Gary Bendix sentenced Gauthier to two years of initial confinement for each felony count, to be served consecutively to one another - serving a total of four years. Upon release, he will be under extended supervision for a total of 10 years.