A 33-year-old woman who reportedly caused a collision that killed five people pleaded guilty recently in a Texas courtroom. The woman cried at her court appearance — saying she was sorry for the pain the car accident had caused others. She will now likely spend many years in jail as a result of her prison sentence.

The woman pleaded guilty to charges that accused her of committing manslaughter while drunk. She was driving under the influence of alcohol when her SUV swerved into a lane of oncoming traffic. It collided with a car containing a 32-year-old Texas man and his wife, daughter and niece. No one in the car survived the collision. A passenger in the SUV also died.

Testing showed that the woman’s blood alcohol level measured .192, which is well more than double what is allowed by law. She was sentenced to concurrent 20-year terms, meaning they will be served at the same time. An additional sentence of 10 years follows, which adds to the other sentences for the total of 50 years she received.

A grieving family member spoke after the sentencing had concluded. She reminisced about the people who had died in this tragic car accident, creating what was an emotional atmosphere in the courtroom. She then thanked the judge for ensuring that justice was served. The family of the people in the car, as well as the family members of the SUV’s passenger, retain the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman responsible for their loss. Successfully litigated claims are one more way to hold her accountable for her actions.

Source: Valley Morning Star, “Woman pleads guilty to fatal car wreck”, Ty Johnson, April 10, 2014