She will spend the next four years in prison for DUI manslaughter. Many are saying she got off lucky. It was bad enough when last April, the 25-year-old woman side-swiped a van on I-295 near San Jose Boulevard. But instead of staying at the scene of the early morning wreck, police say she drove away.
She might have gotten away with it, but when she left the scene, she kept driving and then lost control of her pickup truck on Crown Point Road and struck a tree. As often happens with people who are driving while under the influence of alcohol, she was uninjured, but her 30-year-old male passenger died at the scene. Despite the death of her passenger, the woman took off on foot and was eventually tracked down by K-9 teams.
The woman pled guilty to DUI manslaughter. This week she was sentenced.
We wonder how the family of her passenger feels about her four years behind bars. According to state guidelines, the woman could have received 15 years for a felony in the second degree. Leaving the scene, in this case twice, bumps the sentencing to a first degree felony.
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash that results in the death of any person is required by Florida law 316.027 to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close as possible, and remain at the scene.
You are required to stay and render aid and give information to any officer investigating the scene and to give aid to anyone injured at the scene including getting them to a doctor or hospital if that is requested by the injured person.
The woman in the aforementioned case must also spend 120 hours community service hours in a trauma center or hospital that regularly sees accident victims under the supervision of a registered nurse or ER physician.
If you are involved in an auto wreck and you have been drinking, the absolute worst thing you can do is leave the scene. You will be caught and convicted, not to mention the moral duty you have to the person you have just injured. Stay and render aid and be helpful and figure your actions have finally caught up with you.