Massachusetts Man, Robert Loranger, Pleads Guilty to Hit and Run

A 68-year-old man is serving time behind bars after hitting and killing a pedestrian. In an unusual twist, he left the scene of the crime to order food at a nearby Taco Bell restaurant.

A prison sentence of up to six years has been given to a Massachusetts man who hit and killed a pedestrian before leaving the scene and ordering food at a Taco Bell drive-thru.

The sentencing is being handed out to Robert Loranger, 68 years of age. He was given this sentencing after he pleaded guilty to the charges on Wednesday, January 31 in Hampden Superior Court.

The charges include operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and motor vehicle homicide. He also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the crime and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. Loranger’s blood alcohol was found to be above the legal limit at the time of his arrest, plus he had cocaine and benzodiazepines in his system.

The incident took place on the morning of September 9, 2016, around 10:40 a.m., when Loranger was driving to a Taco Bell to order some food. On the way to the restaurant, he struck and killed Harry Fernandez, who was 51 years old at the time of the accident.

When the events first took place in September 2016, Loranger told police that he thought he’d hit a cardboard box and didn’t realize it was an actual person.

At sentencing, Loranger said he doesn’t remember hitting someone because he was under the influence of alcohol. All he remembers is that he drank a fifth of a vodka in his hotel room the night before. He was staying in the hotel room because his house was being renovated at the time of the incident.

The victim’s family was present for the hearing.

Robert Loranger’s Sentence

Assistant District Attorney James M. Forsyth asked Judge Ford for a sentencing period of eight to 10 years.

Scott Skolnick, Loranger’s defense lawyer, attempted to procure a shorter sentence for Loranger. The argument made was that Loranger suffers from alcohol dependence and health issues related to alcohol abuse, which he claims has ruined his life.

Skolnick asked for a sentencing period of 2.5 years and five years of probation.

Regardless of Skolnick’s efforts, it appears Loranger will be serving between four and six years behind bars.

Judge Daniel A. Ford (the judge in this case) acknowledged that there is a sad story tied to Loranger, but said that the fact is that he killed someone and “then he goes to get a taco.”