Prison Term in Deadly Tunnel Crash

Victim’s Kin “Remember Him Vividly, Miss Him Deeply, and Keep His Spirit Alive”


BOSTON,—The Brighton man responsible for the drunk driving crash that killed 24-year-old Dillon Carter and seriously injured a second man was sentenced to a state prison term today, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

CRAIG LAWLOR (D.O.B. 6/4/92) faced sentencing today before Suffolk Superior Court Judge Linda Giles, who during a jury-waived trial last month found Lawlor guilty of manslaughter by motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of alcohol, and operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury in connection with the fatal 2016 crash inside the Sumner Tunnel. 

Assistant District Attorney Caitlin Grasso had recommended a sentence of six to eight years in state prison, followed by 2 ½ years in the house of correction with six months to serve and the remainder suspended for two years.  Giles imposed a term of five to six years in state prison followed by 2 ½ years in the house of correction with six months to serve and the remainder suspended for a probationary period of two years.  During that time, Lawlor must remain drug- and alcohol-free, complete a substance abuse program, and perform 100 hours of community service. 

During the course of a week-long bench trial last month, Grasso presented evidence and testimony to prove that Lawlor was operating his 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck on the night of Aug. 26, 2016, with Cohen and the surviving victim inside the vehicle after the men spent time drinking alcohol at two different bars in Boston.  The evidence proved that Lawlor’s blood alcohol level was between .23% and .26% when he struck the right side jersey barrier inside the Sumner Tunnel, then traveled across all travel lanes to strike the left side barrier.  State Police collision reconstruction experts testified that the vehicle was traveling at approximately 74 miles per hour at the time of the crash. 

All three men inside the truck were thrown from the vehicle.  Cohen was killed, and the surviving victim suffered serious spine and head injuries.  Lawlor suffered only minor injuries.

Before imposing Lawlor’s sentence, Giles heard impact statements delivered by the surviving victim and Cohen’s loved ones.

“Some people are simply wired to leave a mark on this world and everyone they touch,” Cohen’s grandfather said in a statement read in court by Grasso.  “As a result, we remember him vividly, miss him deeply, and keep his spirit alive in any way we can.”

“I can remember not knowing if I will ever be able to walk again and the temptation of letting the situation around me drive my thoughts and morale down the tubes,” the surviving victim told the court. “But at the end of the day, I always choose to be positive, look adversity in the face and push forward. I did this because I was given a second chance at life. Growing up with Dillon I understood how hard of a worker he was and his work ethic stuck out in my head each day and still does. I just know that Dillon would do nothing less if he were in my position.”

Erin O’Connor was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate.  Lawlor was represented by Sam Zaganjori.






All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.