Two Kentucky families were forever altered in 2017 when one teenager crashed her car, killing her 17-year-old passenger. Now, the driver will spend the next five years in jail.
A judge in Anderson County recently handed down the sentence, The driver had been charged with manslaughter but plead guilty to reckless homicide in a plea agreement.
Officials said the driver and her passenger had been at a party, where the driver was drinking. They got into the car together and were involved in an accident. The driver’s blood alcohol content was not made public.
In court, she was sentenced to a state correctional facility, even though her attorney said probation would have been an appropriate punishment. She has been on house arrest for almost two years, leaving her home only for church or other court-approved activities.
The victim’s family said they recognize that both girls made bad decisions that evening, and they hope photos of the driver in handcuffs, combined with the multiyear jail sentence, will send a message about drinking and driving to other teenagers.
“it is appropriate,” the victim’s cousin told reporters about the length of the sentence. “This will show teenagers that you can’t do this without consequences.”
The victim’s family also has held vigils and other events to warn the public about drunk driving.
All too often, we hear stories like this one where teenagers die too young because of someone else’s negligence. Families such as this girl’s are robbed of the joys of watching their children achieve life’s milestones: graduations, first jobs, marriages, babies. And they also face both tangible and intangible costs for which they deserve compensation.