Driver receives four 30-year sentences after killing family in DUI crash

A driver received four sentences of 30 years each. The driver who received four convictions was charged with DUI. In the tragic accident,...

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  • A driver received four sentences of 30 years each.
  • The driver who received four convictions was charged with DUI.
  • In the tragic accident, a grandmother, a mother, and two children in the same family died.

Disgrace at the wheel. A driver received four 30-year sentences for killing a grandmother, a mother, and two children from the same family in a tragic traffic accident. The driver was charged with DUI, the authorities told Fox News on Sunday, January 9.

The Oklahoma driver, whose 2020 DUI accident resulted in the deaths of four California family members, received four 30-year jail sentences on Saturday, January 8. She will serve her sentences simultaneously.

Driver receives four convictions for a fatal decision

driver received four convictions

The driver was identified as Ashley Louise Ricks, 34. She was driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 40 near El Reno, Oklahoma, just after midnight on October 17, 2020, when she collided head-on with another vehicle. The accused driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

The tragic crash for which a driver received four 30-year sentences

Dianna Parra

After the collision, the victims’ car ran into a ditch, overturned, and burst into flames, trapping the four passengers—a grandmother, a mother, and two children—inside, Fox 25 said. All four died, and the driver responsible for the tragedy has received four 30-year sentences.

The victims were returning home to San Diego after taking a family trip to Ohio, KGTV-TV reported. The children were Lili, 8, and Zachary, 12, who were traveling with their mother, Laura Jones, and their grandmother, Carol Jones Hickman.

Lives cut short by a woman who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel

driver received four convictions
Photo: GoFundMe

A GoFundMe campaign was created by Jean Ball, a friend of the family. He described what the little brothers were like. “They were great kids. Zach loved video games and was very good at it. The last time they visited me, about two months ago, Zach had grown many inches. He beat me easily at darts,” he commented.

He added: “Lili loved everything that was pink and purple, her bicycle, and they both loved going to the beach as a family.” The post explained that Carol’s maternal grandmother was driving the car, Zach was in the front seat, and Lili and her mother were in the back seat. The boy, his mother, and his grandmother died at the scene, while the little girl died on the way to the hospital.

Driver who received four convictions admits her guilt

driver received four convictions
Photo: Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Ashley Ricks.

“The great work done by our Traffic Homicide Unit led Ashley Ricks to plead guilty,” the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in a statement. “We hope that the outcome of the court case will bring a measure of comfort to the families of the victims.”

Sam Homant, the father of the children killed in the collision, has sued Ashley Ricks for wrongful death, according to KFOR-TV. They explained that she was driving a 2017 Jeep Renegade, while the family was traveling in a 2003 Hyundai.

Sending condolences

driver received four convictions
Photo: GoFundMe. Zachary and Lili with their dad in 2017. 

Many people supported the GoFundMe campaign and expressed their condolences for the four lives lost. “We hope the prayers and support of those around you will comfort you at such a difficult time,” wrote Melanie and Dean Rice.

In another message, user Kim Anderson wrote: “There are absolutely no words to describe the pain and senseless loss of two beautiful children. Our family mourns them, and they are in our prayers. May God wrap his arms around you and comfort you as you mourn the loss of your sweet babies.”

A Hispanic man received four life sentences

Damian Herrera
Photo: New Mexico State Police. Damian Herrera.

On the other hand, Damián Herrera was sentenced to four life sentences for murdering several members of his family, including his mother, according to various media outlets. The defendant received four consecutive life sentences on Friday, January 7, for the murder of three members of his family and one more person in 2017, the EFE news agency reported. Jason Lidyard, a district judge in New Mexico, issued the sentence after hearing the testimonies of children and other relatives of the four victims.

Damián Herrera, now 26, was found guilty of the death of his mother, María Rosita Gallegos, 49; his brother, Brendon Herrera, 20; and his stepfather, Max Trujillo, 55. It happened after a fight broke out in the family home in the town of La Madera, New Mexico, on June 15, 2017, EFE reported. Later that tragic day, Damián Herrera fired out of his car window and murdered Manuel Serrano, 59, while he was standing outside a store in the town of Abiquiú, according to a press release from the state prosecutor’s office of New Mexico.

The shocking confession he made to his sisters

Damian Herrera

EFE reported that while trying to escape from the authorities, Damián Herrera killed a fifth person identified as Michael Kyte, 61, whose car he stole since his had run out of gas. The defendant will now face a separate trial for that latest death.

After Damián Herrera was arrested, his legal team tried to have the judicial authorities declare him incompetent since, shortly after the multiple murders, he revealed to two of his sisters that he heard voices. As a result he was sent to a specialty clinic in Las Vegas for treatment. However, experts declared him competent to face a trial in January 2020.

No mercy

Damian Herrera

EFE reported that during the trial, the prosecution stated that Damián Herrera killed his brother and mortally wounded his stepfather before shooting his own mother, who begged for her life and was shot in the head from a short distance.

During the judicial process, Damián Herrera always denied having committed the killings. Additionally, EFE said the judge issued a 9.5-year prison sentence against him for running from the police, resisting arrest, and car theft, among other charges. Despite the incriminating evidence, his lawyers said they will appeal the sentence.

The post Driver received four 30-year sentences after killing family in DUI crash appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.