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

Tampa man sentenced to 15 years for deadly DUI crash

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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.


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