updated 5/22/2007 6:22:13 PM ET 2007-05-22T22:22:13

A truck driver who improperly hitched a wood-chipper to his vehicle was sentenced Tuesday to nine to 18 months in jail for causing a crash that killed a father and two of his triplets.

The wood-chipper broke free from Bradley Demitras' truck on a busy highway, rolled across the median and slammed into the family's minivan.

"All I can say is I am sorry," Demitras said. "I know that sounds like the hollowest thing in the world, but I am sorry."

After his sentence, Demitras must prominently display a picture of the accident scene in his home, Allegheny County Judge Lester Nauhaus ruled. He must also serve six years' probation.

Demitras, 35, of Pine Township, could have faced more than 17 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in March to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and other charges and acknowledged that the wood-chipper wasn't properly hooked up to his truck before he left work on April 13, 2006.

Prosecutors said Demitras was speeding when the wood-chipper flew into the opposing lanes, killing Spencer Morrison, 37, of Cranberry and 4-year-olds Alaina and Garrett. Demitras also pleaded guilty to one count of reckless endangerment for critically injuring their children's sibling, Ethan.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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