A drunk driver, who killed a pregnant woman and her unborn baby in a 2012 car crash, has been punished with a prison sentence of almost 24 years. The man has been held in custody since the day of the crash, so he has already satisfied almost two years of his impending sentence. Penalties can be stiff for Virginia drunk drivers, and this case is certainly no exception.
The man was found guilty of aggravated and involuntary drunk driving manslaughter, felony murder and a variety of other charges. In addition to the man’s prison sentence, the judge presiding over the case also said he will pay over $27,300 to cover the woman’s funeral costs, medical bills and vehicle damage. The convicted man expressed his regret for the accident and broke into tears during the hearing.
The trial proceedings in this case were extremely emotional. At one point the convicted man stated that he and his friend had shared six beers together, and he had drunk three. He said that he is a hard worker and does not normally drink. Meanwhile, the victim’s father made a long statement about the pain of losing his child. Since the convicted man is also an illegal immigrant, it is likely that he will be deported to his home country, El Salvador following the completion of his prison term.
As with many fatal car accident cases involving drunk drivers in Virginia, this case does not end with the recent criminal conviction. Indeed, the father of the deceased woman has initiated a wrongful death action in civil court. If successful, he may be able to obtain additional restitution for the loss of his child.
Source: Star Exponent, “Deadly DUI driver gets nearly 24 years in prison” Rhonda Simmons, May. 29, 2014