Mom gets 13-year sentence for accident that killed daughter

It has been over a year since an El Cajon mother was arrested for the car accident that caused the death of her three-year-old daughter and injured her two sons. Although it has been quite a while since she was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, it did not stop the El Cajon Superior Court Judge from handing down a 13-year and four-month sentence.

In 2015, the 32-year-old mother was arrested after the car accident that killed her daughter. Authorities found the woman to be under the influence of drugs while she was driving with her three young children in the car. At the time of the incident, her three-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son and a 21-month-old son were in the vehicle. The three-year-old daughter did not survive the crash, but her two sons did. However, over a year later, one of her sons still has difficulty walking due to injuries suffered in the crash.

According to authorities, the 32-year-old mother ignored her 10-year-old when he repeatedly asked her to pull over. Her vehicle was found later that evening, crashed into a telephone pole. Witnesses say they saw her standing outside her car, crying and holding her infant son. Witnesses say they then saw the woman ingest something she pulled from the crash. The mom, who had been prescribed methadone, was also found to have methamphetamines with her in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

In March, she was found guilty of three counts of child endangerment, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, possession of methamphetamine and DUI. Given the fact that the woman had no previous criminal history, her defense lawyer requested that she be placed on probation. However, the judge believed a prison sentence was appropriate and denied the request.

This is yet another example of how careless self-medication can have disastrous consequences. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is negligent and those responsible for injuring others should be held accountable. If you have lost a family member in a fatal car accident as a result of a driver's negligence, you may wish to speak with an experienced attorney.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prison for mom whose drugged driving killed 3-yr-old," Dana Littlefield, June 17, 2016

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