Court sentences woman to eight years in DWI case

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview court sentenced a woman to 8 years in prison for a 2008 drunk driving crash.

In April of 2008, then 19 year old Erika Alaniz slammed her car into a pick-up truck on Highway 31 near Loop 281, killing one person and putting another in the hospital for 3 months.

21 year old Alaniz pleaded guilty to manslaughter and intoxication assault in Judge David Brabhams' court Wednesday.  The wreck claimed the life of her passenger , 19 year old Dalia Jiminez.

"We have a 19 year old who will never get to see any children a marriage a family, unfortunately this is something we see at MADD all too often," said Melissa Granberry of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The truck driver, O.L. Kelly still bears the painful scars. He had both arms and legs broken, broken ankle, hip , pelvis and ribs in the crash.

"For the rest of my life that was my sentence was life for her mistake, I told her I forgave her and that was definitely heart felt," Kelly said.

"Injured victims, the numbers are staggering as far a those who have been effected by an impaired driver and what they live with on a daily basis," Granberry says.

Witnesses who were with Alaniz testified she was not only drinking and driving, she was texting and driving. Friends testified she didn't do those things, and portrayed Alaniz as tormented by the accident. But the most powerful testimony was Kelly, who wanted Alaniz to take responsibility.

"There was a death and that was her sentence was death the death of Dalia. I hope that she will make something of herself and become bigger than this situation," Kelly says.

In the end , Brabham sentenced Alaniz to 8 years on each count to be served concurrently in prison. Alaniz will be eligible for parole after serving two years.

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