Matthew Sanchez

Matthew Sanchez (Courtesy/Belknap Corrections)

LACONIA — A Plymouth man who was drunk behind the wheel of his car when it crashed last year, and then clung to life in a hospital for weeks has begun serving a 14-day sentence after pleading guilty to a reduced charge.

Matthew Sanchez, 29, of River Road in Plymouth, pleaded guilty in Belknap Superior Court Monday to a misdemeanor-level charge of DWI-second offense.

Judge James D. O’Neill III sentenced Sanchez to 12 months in the House of Correction with all but 351 days suspended for one year. He also ordered that Sanchez’s license be revoked for three years, and further ordered that when he gets his license reinstated he must have an breath alcohol ignition interlock device or his vehicle for one year.

Sanchez had been facing a felony charge of aggravated DWI resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to court documents, Sanchez was behind the wheel last May 14, when his vehicle went off Interstate 93 in New Hampton. As result of the crash, he suffered a fractured pelvis, a broken arm, a head injury along with massive internal injuries.

Sanchez was hospitalized for months at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, according to Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois. During that time he spent days in a medically-induced coma, and for a time doctors were unsure whether he would survive.

 Sanchez underwent several surgeries during his lengthy hospitalization and is scheduled for another operation after he leaves the House of Correction. As a result of his injuries and surgeries, he now receives physical therapy treatments four times a week, according to court records.

Other terms of Sanchez’s sentence are that he must pay a $1,240 fine and undergo a substance abuse disorder evaluation. Also during the time his driver’s license is revoked he is prohibited from operating a motor boat.

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