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Grieving Mom Blames California Woman For Loss of a Loved One

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

The mother of a California woman who was killed by a drunk driver says the sentence given the woman found guilty of the crime was not enough to dispense justice. She said she blames her loss of a loved one on the choices the woman made. She claims the nine-year sentence was insufficient when compared to taking the lives of two innocent people.

The fatal accident happened about two years ago. The woman who died -- a 25-year-old graduate student -- overturned her car as she was driving down the California Interstate. A 59-year-old California man stopped to offer assistance. As the man worked to free the young woman from her car, the woman who was later found guilty of drunk driving plowed into them with her vehicle. Both the young woman and the man helping her were killed.

The now convicted woman's blood-alcohol level was almost double the amount allowed by law when the fatal accident occurred, according to police reports. She pleaded guilty to multiple counts of vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. She received a sentence of nine years, which her victim's mother said is "too short."

The deceased woman's mother said the man who was killed helping her daughter was not just a victim -- he was a hero as well. She said both families were grieving and struggling to come to terms with their loss of a loved one. They each retain the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman found criminally responsible. It won't diminish the anguish they feel, but a successfully litigated claim could give them the means to put this tragic accident behind them financially and eventually heal.

Source:, Victim's family says Sunny Hall's 9-year sentence for DUI crash that killed 2 is too short, Allison Ash, March 3, 2014