April 30, 2012: A car swerved off the road in Redmond Friday night and crashed into a home on…read more
March 30, 2012: A young Whidbey Island woman, Kaylea Souza, is to be sentenced today for vehicular homicide in the deaths of three friends last November. Driving too fast, she passed another car, lost control, and slammed into a tree, whereupon her 2003 burst into flames. She was pulled from the inferno, but the three passengers lost their lives. She alternately claimed, “I wasn’t that drunk,” and “I can’t believe they let me drive!” Go figure.
I do feel for this young woman, who tragically lost three of her friends that night, and now faces significant jail time. Yet, for the good of society and to further the safety of others on the highways of Washington State, I hope she gets the maximum sentence. Our legislature has recently lengthened the sentencing range for car accident fatalities caused by drunk drivers, to 6-8 years, up from the previous 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 years. I don’t know if the new sentencing range will apply in this case, though.
Yes, I know she is young. But so were her victims. Yes, I know eight years is a long time for her to be behind bars. But it’s far shorter than the sentence meted out to the parents and other loved ones of those who died, for they will suffer a lifetime of grief and heartache.
A tough sentence will help send the strong message that our society is fed up with DWI drivers, and we must cut down on the carnage. After all, Washington State has one of the worst records in the nation for drunk driving fatality accidents. Until people realize how deadly serious (pun intended) this situation is, we are not going to see the grisly statistics reduced.