In June 2014, a horrific truck accident took the lives of five people — all of the same family. Of the two survivors, one is the drunk flatbed truck driver and the other was the daughter or sister to those who were killed.

According to investigators, the intoxicated driver’s blood alcohol concentration was three times over the legal limit in Texas. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter but avoided a trial by accepting a plea deal from prosecutors. That plea deal will keep him in prison for at least 25 years of the 50-year sentence. He will not be eligible for parole until after he has served 25 years.

The 16-year-old who lost her family in that accident uses a wheelchair most of the time. Her face is scarred from injuries received that night. However, she said that she forgives the driver because she’s “really not God. The one that he needs to say sorry to…is for God, not for me.” The man faced up to 110 years in prison had he gone to trial.

The man wrote a letter to the 16-year-old, telling her that he was an alcoholic, apologizing for his actions.

Drunk driving accidents can quickly reduce an entire family to only memories. The at-fault drivers can face criminal charges; however, they can also face civil lawsuits for wrongful death, medical expenses, pain and suffering and much more. A criminal conviction is not needed in order for a civil lawsuit to proceed. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help victims and their families understand their options for seeking compensation.

Source: abc13.com, “Driver gets 50 years in prison for deadly wreck,” Kevin Quinn, March. 24, 2015