Cohoes man sentenced in Clifton Park crash that killed young couple

Mark Mulholland
Updated: November 21, 2019 06:56 PM
Created: November 21, 2019 12:29 PM

BALLSTON SPA - They were married just four years ago and by all accounts their potential was unlimited.

Five people stepped to the witness stand Thursday afternoon to describe, often through tears, what the loss of John Heneghan and Caitlin Holtzman meant to them.


"I lived and loved more deeply because of what you brought to me," said Donald Holtzman, Caitlin's father.

They were driving to a wedding in Saratoga Springs with three other people on May 25.

They were stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Ushers Road and Route 9 in Clifton Park when a Dodge Ram truck, driven by Dickie Winn of Cohoes plowed into their Cadillac.

Both Heneghan who was 33, and Holtzman who was 32, were killed.

The three others, including Julia Staples, were injured.

"His actions resulted in sadness and pain he will never fully comprehend and with this, my main hope is that the sentence will be fitting," said Staples.

Winn had a blood alcohol concentration of .16, twice the legal limit.

"John and Caitlin did not die in an accident," said John's sister, Maire O'Reilly. "There's nothing accidental about an adult consuming alcohol and then sitting behind the wheel of a car, a powerful vehicle, and driving it recklessly."

When Judge Jim Murphy gave Winn the chance to speak, the 59-year-old military veteran replied, "Not at this time, your honor."

However, the relatives of the couple that was killed had a lot to say, both about their loss and the man responsible for their death.

"I want you to tell others about your mistake and your bad decisions. I want you to tell the world what you have done so that it will not happen again," said Claudia Holtzman, Caitlin's mother.

Mrs. Holtzman even gave Winn an email address to communicate with her while he's in prison, telling him to contact her at

Murphy sentenced Winn to 6 1/3 to 19 years in state prison.

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