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Mother's alleged drug problem may have killed child

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, July 26, 2012

An accident that took the life of a 3-year-old boy has led to the boy's mother being sentenced to six years in jail. The 29-year-old woman from New Mexico pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and causing great bodily harm in a plea deal struck with the state.

The fatal accident occurred in June 2011, when the woman was driving a Jeep with her 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter. According to reports, the woman drove the vehicle into the back of a tractor-trailer. The 3-year-old boy died at the scene; the 18-month-old girl was injured. Blood taken from the mother indicated that she had methadone and cocaine in her system.

Some time after the accident, the woman was incarcerated but was released in November 2011 and placed on electronic monitoring. She was arrested several days later after it was discovered that she had suboxone in her system.

According to officials, the woman had successfully completed drug court in 2007, but she was unable to kick her addictions. Currently, her surviving child is in a foster home.

The woman will be given credit for the 13 months she has already spent in custody. The judge said that she should spend time in therapy and treatment programs and added that, with good behavior, she could be released in less than three years.

While this case involves one family, it shows the disastrous consequences of choosing to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While addiction is a disease that needs to be treated, people who make the mistake of driving under the influence need to be held accountable for their actions, whether that be in criminal or civil court.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican, "Woman gets 6 years in crash that killed son, 3," Nico Roesler, July 17, 2012