Joshua Hertz was killed in a July 2011 crash.
Joshua Hertz was killed in a July 2011 crash. (SUBMITTED)
Outside a York County courtroom Tuesday afternoon, Donald Wayne Brady Jr. and Michele Hertz held each other in a hug.

Inside the courtroom, some minutes later, Brady was sentenced to three to six years in state prison for the drunken-driving crash that killed his friend and Hertz's son -- Joshua Charles Hertz.

Brady, 23, of Hanover, pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and DUI in March.

Tuesday, Michele Hertz emotionally told Judge John S. Kennedy, "I don't want Donny to be put someplace where he counts the days.

"I want his mind to be busy. I want his heart to be busy. I think the world of him. I can't imagine what his family is going through.

"We lost Josh. We can't get him back. We can't lose another child."

After speaking to Kennedy, Hertz walked over to Brady's mother and tearfully hugged her.

Brady did not speak in court Tuesday. His attorney, Samuel Gates Jr., told Kennedy that Brady had been in frequent contact with his friend's family since shortly after the July 28, 2011 crash.

"I think my wishes were heard," Michele Hertz said after the hearing. "My concern with Donny is that it will never be something he'll completely erase. I don't want him to base his life on this."

She repeated what she had told Kennedy about people being responsible for "their choices." Both Brady and her son had been drinking before the crash and, according to police, Brady had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent, almost twice the legal limit for driving.

She also explained her son and Brady had the sad, special connection in that both had lost their fathers. She said Joshua could talk to Brady about things he felt he could not say to his family.

After the hearing, Gates said Michele Hertz had sought out Brady shortly after the fatal crash.

"She asked him if he was OK," Gates said.

He said since the crash, Brady had helped out at the Hertz household.

He explained Brady did not need to speak to his friend's family in court.

"He's done his reconciliation," he said.

The crash

West Manheim Township Police found Joshua Charles Hertz, then a recent South Western High School graduate, lying at the bottom of a steep embankment in the 700 block of Impounding Dam Road, around 4:20 a.m. July 28, 2011.

The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at York Hospital.

Police reported the Hyundai coupe that Donald Wayne Brady, now 23, was driving showed significant damage and debris in the area indicated a multiple roll-over. Hertz was ejected from the vehicle, according to reports.

Police said Brady admitted to drinking and driving 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. He reportedly told police he lost control on a curve.