Tampa man sentenced to 15 years for deadly DUI crash - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa man sentenced to 15 years for deadly DUI crash

Posted: Updated:
Hillsborough County Mug shot: Ernest Smith Hillsborough County Mug shot: Ernest Smith
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Ernest Smith III, 23, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Monday for a traffic crash that claimed the lives of three people.

Tampa Police say Smith was driving drunk on Sept. 2, 2010 when the accident happened.

Police say Smith was driving nearly 90 mph when he crashed into a 1995 Buick Century at the intersection of 34th Street and Chelsea Avenue.

Killed in the crash was Walter Charles Givens, his wife Dione, and their passenger Helen Cummings.

Police say a blood test taken at the hospital showed that Smith was impaired at the time of the crash.

On Monday, Given's daughter spoke in court before Smith was sentenced.

"You took someone very close to me. I know there is not a day you don't think about this accident, " said Cecelia Givens-Degree.

Helen Cummings' daughter Sherra Daniels, told Smith she forgives him.

"While you're suffering, we're suffering, that's never in doubt and as you go through this time of remorse, just take it as a lesson learned. So, when you are on the outside, just be more cautious of your behavior and your surroundings," said Daniels.

Judge Kimberly Fernandez then sentenced Smith to 15 years in prison, followed by 15 years of probation.

Smith never spoke openly in court during the proceeding and never offered an apology for his actions.


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • 15 year old sexually molested in Highlands Regional Medical Center ICU

    15 year old sexually molested in Highlands Regional Medical Center ICU

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:19:41 GMT
    People go to hospitals to be healed, not sexually molested. But an 8 On Your Side investigation confirmed a 15 year old Highlands county girl, who was heavily medicated and sedated at Highlands Regional Medical Center, was sexually molested in her ICU bed.
    People go to hospitals to be healed, not sexually molested. But an 8 On Your Side investigation confirmed a 15 year old Highlands county girl, who was heavily medicated and sedated at Highlands Regional Medical Center, was sexually molested in her ICU bed.
  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.