A 57-year-old man from Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to four to 12 years in state prison. The prosecution said that he was the reason a 1-year-old baby girl lost her life during a drunk driving accident. According to authorities, the man had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08 in Pennsylvania.
The crash occurred on July 18, 2011, in North Whitehall Township, where the 57-year-old man reportedly crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while driving his pickup truck. His vehicle collided head-on with a minivan containing the infant and both of her parents.
According to the defense, the man had no prior criminal record and no heavy drinking history. The time prior to the crash was reportedly a deviation from the man's normal life. During his sentencing hearing, the man said that he would trade his life for that of the child's if he could.
In court, the man said that he drank only two drinks with dinner before the crash. Records show that he told a therapist that a friend may have added more alcohol to his drinks as a prank. But a police report suggests the man said he had five drinks that night. But this still cannot account for the man's high blood-alcohol content.
The mother of the deceased child suffered cracked ribs, a bruised heart and two broken legs from the accident. The father had screws and metal plates inserted in his arms.
In addition to physical pain from the crash, the parents spoke of emotional pain. According to them, their relationship as a couple ended because of the emotional hardships that were caused by the crash. Even if the man's drinks were spiked, he should have known better than to get behind the wheel that night.
Source: Express-Times, "Whitehall Township man sentenced to prison for drunken-driving crash that killed 1-year-old," Colin McEvoy, July 31, 2012