A 20-year-old Texas man recently accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to 18 years for intoxication manslaughter and 10 years for intoxication assault in connection with an accident on January 29 that killed a 45-year-old mother and injured her teenage daughter, according to a recent Lufkin Daily News story.
The victim, a mother of two and a teacher, was killed when the suspect drove through a red light and collided into her vehicle. Her teenage daughter, who was a passenger, was thrown from the vehicle. The suspect tried to flee the accident scene, but police caught up with him.
The families of both the suspect and the victim were in the courtroom when the judge handed down the sentence. The suspect hung his head and avoided eye contact with the families. The victim’s husband was allowed to make a victim’s impact statement to the suspect. He told the suspect that his wife did nothing wrong the night she was killed. He said his daughter repeatedly asks why her mother had to die become some man wanted to drink beer. He said his son wanted his mother, who was his biggest fan, to see him graduate from college, and that she is no longer here to see her children’s triumphs or heal their hurts. The husband told the suspect that he missed his wife and felt lost without her.
This is a heartbreaking tale of why drinking and driving rarely ends well. A family is left to go on without the loving wife and mother who held their family together. A mother will have to visit her son in prison for the next couple of decades of his young life. A young man will be behind bars at a time when his life is just beginning and the world is his oyster. There may not have been much the criminal defense attorney in this case could do to get his client a lighter sentence, because he committed manslaughter and DUI offenses, both of which have stiff penalties.