January 6, 2011 – Kona, HI – A repeat drunk driver offender whose negligence led to the death of a 17-month-old girl received a 10-year prison sentence, KHON2.com has reported.
The driver pled guilty to charges of first-degree negligent homicide, first-degree negligent injury, possessing or consuming liquor while driving, and inattention to driving.
The 51-year-old has a criminal record dating to 1988, when she was convicted of driving under the influence. She was convicted in 1992 of promoting a detrimental drug.
During a Kona Courthouse hearing on Dec. 7, 2010, the sobbing driver told the parents of the child that she is shameful and guilty for taking their daughter’s life.
According to police, the driver ignored a red light on Kuakini Highway on May 23, 2010. She struck a light pole and hit a car occupied by the toddler and her mother. The toddler died at Kona Community Hospital.
The child’s mother was flown to Honolulu for treatment at Queens Medical Center. She was in critical condition but has since recovered.
In addressing the court, the convicted driver said she has quit drinking and she wants to warn children about drinking and driving when she gets out of prison. The child’s father, clutching his daughter’s blanket, gave the driver a warm embrace.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2008 Crash Statistics, there were 107 fatalities as a result of traffic accidents in Hawaii.
As a service to the residents of the Big Island and surrounding areas, our firm will frequently publish blogs about local traffic accidents. We do this to raise awareness about the common types of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Hawaii that may result in serious injury or traffic fatalities.
Common accidents include, but are not limited to:
- single-vehicle accidents;
- accidents caused by hazardous road conditions; and
- accidents caused by aggressive driving or distracted drivers.
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