The truly innocent victims of a motorcycle accident April 29, 2006, were the two children of Rochelle Sabo-Vanditta, who lost their mother that night, Mercer County Common Pleas Judge John C. Reed said.

Ms. Sabo-Vanditta, 27, was thrown from a motorcycle and killed on River Road in Hermitage.

Reed on Wednesday sentenced the man who was driving that motorcycle, Frank Howard Rocco Jr., 36, formerly of Pymatuning Township, to 10 to 23 months in jail and 5 years’ probation for her death.

Rocco pleaded guilty May 8 to homicide by vehicle. Charges of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, drunken driving, and six traffic violations were dropped.

Members of both Ms. Sabo-Vanditta and Rocco’s family spoke in court.

“To sum it up, we in Rochelle’s family do not seek vengeance,” her uncle Frank Van Tassel said. “We seek justice, a moral equity and rightness.”

While Van Tassel questioned how sorry Rocco really was, Rocco’s father — Frank Rocco Sr. — said his son was extremely depressed as a result of his fiance’s death. The elder Rocco added that his son spent a lot of time in the cemetery visiting Ms. Sabo-Vanditta’s grave.

“Frank lost his girlfriend and fiance. Her parents lost a daughter,” said Ms. Sabo-Vanditta’s half sister, Renae Beaver. She said she did not know what kind of punishment would be fair.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy R. Bonner said it was neither an accident nor a murder. He called Rocco’s actions reckless and asked Reed to use midrange sentencing guidelines.

“He was traveling at a minimum of 60 mph in a 45 zone,” Bonner said, and then took a sharp curve and passed a vehicle.

Bonner also addressed the dropped alcohol-related charges by adding that “they were bar-hopping that night. They were on their way to another bar.”

Rocco fought the alcohol-related charges in court. Rocco’s blood-alcohol level was tested about two hours after the wreck at 0.071 percent, which is below the legal limit of 0.08.

His attorney Charles F. Gilchrest said Rocco had three beers over four hours and a meal along with them. The accident was a result of recklessness and not drunkenness, Gilchrest said.

Rocco apologized for the accident and said he feels guilty for it. Reed also sentenced Rocco to 100 hours’ community service, in which he will speak to organizations about his losses.

“Rochelle was a treasure,” Reed said. “And we have lost a treasure.”

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