Pembroke woman sentenced to prison for motor vehicle manslaughter

A Pembroke woman charged with motor vehicle manslaughter for a chain-reaction crash in 2017 that killed another driver and injured two others was sentenced Friday to 10 to 13 years in state prison, according to the office of Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.

Danielle Mastro, 35, was convicted following a five-day trial held without a jury in Brockton Superior Court, according to a statement from Cruz’s office.

Prior to the trial, Mastro pleaded guilty to at least eight charges, including operating under the influence causing serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a death, and operating after license suspension, according to the statement.

On Oct. 3, 2017, Mastro rear-ended a Chevy Equinox SUV traveling north on Quincy Street in Brockton around 3:30 p.m. The impact caused the SUV’s driver, Deborah Combra, 58, of Bridgewater, to veer into the path of an oncoming dump truck, according to the district attorney’s office.


Combra was flung from the vehicle and was found lying in the street. She was transported to Brockton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Combra was the mother of a Whitman reserve police officer, according to previous Globe reporting.

Combra, a longtime employee of the state Department of Mental Health, was traveling with a co-worker. The co-worker and the driver of the dump truck survived their injuries.

Mastro fled the scene on foot but was apprehended by police and arrested a few minutes later. She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Brockton District Court to motor vehicle homicide, leaving the scene after causing personal injury or death, and operating after suspension.

At the time of the crash, State Police said Mastro told police she was on her cellphone with “my drug dealer,” the Globe reported. Prior to the crash, Mastro had driven “recklessly” through the towns of Hanson, where she failed to stop for a police officer, and continued driving into East Bridgewater and Whitman, Cruz’s office said.

In December 2017, a Plymouth County grand jury indicted Mastro on 10 counts, including motor vehicle homicide and motor vehicle manslaughter while operating under the influence, the Globe reported.

Mastro waived her right to a jury trial in Brockton Superior Court. Judge Angel Kelly presided over the trial last week, which was attended each day by Combra’s family and friends.


At the sentencing, Combra’s loved ones recalled her as “a wife, mother, sister, and friend who was the glue that held family together, [who] looked forward to retirement and becoming a grandmother,” Cruz said.

But Mastro’s “selfish actions stole all of that away,” Cruz said. “I am hopeful that with [Friday’s] sentencing, this family can finally be at peace with their memories.”

Sofia Saric can be reached at sofia.saric@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sofia_saric.