Woman sentenced in crash that killed three

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The sentencing phase is over in the case of an East Texas woman, who killed three people while driving the wrong way.

Donna Wingfield was convicted in Gregg County in the wreck, where authorities say she may have been impaired on prescription medication.

August 9th, 2007 sheriff dash cam video shows a pick-up going the wrong way up the entry ramp to Alpine Street, then slamming into a passing car. Donna Wingfield, 51, was driving the truck that day.

"It was all over the roadway," said Deputy Sheriff Kevin Johnson, with the Harrison County Sheriff's Office. "It was almost shoulder to shoulder."

"I remember that day because it could have been me," said Joyce Wilson, a witness.

Killed in the crash was Charlotte Estrada, 51, Wavie Goff, 76, and his wife, Maxine Goff, 73.

"The defendant is out there walking the streets," said Shonda Kincaid, a family member of the victims. "It makes it tough. We have three grave plots and she's out there walking the streets. It's really hard."

The video overwhelmed many of the friends and family members in the courtroom. Prosecution called nearly a dozen witnesses on how erratically Wingfield was driving that day.

"It's pretty hard to concentrate on anything," said Wavie Goff, Jr. "It really is. It's just real hard."

"We've had to wait almost three years and some days it's okay and some days it's not," said Janis Cagle, a family member. "Some days I can look at their pictures and some days I can't. We just miss them."

She was suspected of being under the influence of prescription medication at the time, but a blood test showed only moderate levels of prescription drugs.

"Moderate levels could be considered therapeutic depending on frequency of use," said Justin Schwane, a forensics expert.

"I don't hate her," said Cagle. "I think she needs to be held accountable and more than just a slap on the wrist."

Wingfield had no prior arrest record, but even her family said she had a prescription drug problem and had even attempted suicide. She pled guilty on April 29th to three counts of manslaughter with a deadly weapon. She was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.

"The laws are not still enough for this," said Goff.

"I hope that the family can be satisfied with the results," said Kincaid.

"I asked for 20 years because I believed in the circumstances, and when she collided with that family and they suffered horribly," said Chris Parker, the prosecutor. "They deserved for her to receive 20 years."

In a tragic twist of fate, Wavie Goff, Sr. died several hours later at a Longview hospital after being taken off life support on his birthday.

Donna Wingfield was sentenced to seven years each on each count of manslaughter to be served concurrently.

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