Anthony Washington, 22, of New York City, died on impact in the crash Nov. 4, 2011. He, Tomsic, and another friend, all students at Lincoln University, were headed back to campus from getting food in Oxford when, prosecutors say, Tomsic inexplicably accelerated to 85 m.p.h. on a straight stretch of road. Just before the campus gates, the car slammed into a tree and burst into flames.
The accident shook the school of about 2,500 students, and hundreds traveled by bus to Washington's funeral near New York City. When there wasn't enough room in the small church, they listened from outside.
During an August trial, Judge Anthony Sarcione found Tomsic guilty of homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault, both while driving intoxicated, along with a string of other charges. Tomsic's lawyer said speed, not alcohol, caused the crash. But prosecutor Charles Gaza argued that Tomsic's intoxication caused the crash.
The other passenger in the car, Kadeem Fulmore, was not in court Thursday. Two years after responders pulled him from the burning car, he still is recovering near his home in Rochester, N.Y. He is learning how to walk again without his left leg and right foot, both amputated because they were so badly burned.
Gaza said Fulmore has also lost use of one of his arms and is deciding whether to amputate the other.
On Thursday, Gaza told Sarcione that Tomsic, from Grand Junction, Mich., showed concern only for himself in the moments after the crash, calling for help and neglecting to tell responders that Fulmore was still trapped.
But Tomsic said he had not forgotten the victims he hurt.
"Anthony was a good friend of mine, and I miss him dearly. Now, having a child of my own, I couldn't imagine the thought of losing her," Tomsic told the judge, his hands cuffed to his waist as he began to cry.
In court, Tomsic's mother, fiancee, and daughter, and a few friends sat behind him as he read from a brief statement and apologized for the hardships he had caused Fulmore and his family.
Fulmore, unable to respond in court, shared his feelings in a letter to the judge.
"He bears the defendant no ill will," Gaza said.
"Yeah," the judge said, looking up at Tomsic from his papers. "He only wishes the best for this fellow."