Drunk driver gets 10 years for crash that killed 2, injured 4 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Drunk driver gets 10 years for crash that killed 2, injured 4

Jessie Tubbs (Source: Perry County District Attorney's Office) Jessie Tubbs (Source: Perry County District Attorney's Office)

It was a family outing that ended tragically- relatives involved in a horrific head-on crash in Perry County on their way home from a day trip.  

Now, two years later, the man responsible for the deadly collision knows his punishment. 

Jessie Tubbs, 74, of Marion was set to stand trial in a few weeks but opted not to let his case be heard by a jury. On Friday, he took a plea deal, pleading guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter and assault- crimes that he will serve 10 years behind bars for after receiving concurrent sentences. 

Tubbs was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Jack Meigs to 10 years on each of his two vehicular manslaughter charges, representing a woman and child who were killed in the accident, and another 30 years for assault charges stemming from injuries other passengers sustained. Tubbs will serve all the sentences at the same time. The judge moved to have them run concurrently. 

On July 21, 2012, Tubbs crossed over into oncoming traffic on Perry County Road 29 near its junction with Perry County Road 23 north of Marion, colliding with a car full of women and children.

"They were coming back from Tuscaloosa and the defendant was heading into their lane. The other driver tried to swerve avoid him but they ended up having a crash," said Perry County District Attorney Michael Jackson. 

Evelyn Miree, 52, the driver of the Ford Fusion Tubbs struck, received severe injuries in the crash. Her sister, Shirley Bettis, 52, of Denver, Colorado, was the front seat passenger. Bettis was killed on impact. The two sisters had been visiting their parents' the day before in Marion. Their mother had just been released from the hospital. On the day of the accident, they traveled to Tuscaloosa for the day and were headed back to Marion. In the car with them were the daughters of Miree's nephew- Taqualya, Daquasha and Nakeyla Anderson- and Miree's granddaughter, Arkayviuna Tubbs.

Taqualya Anderson, 11, was also killed on impact. Daquasha Anderson, 7, Nakeyla Anderson, 4, and Arkayviuna Tubbs were all critically injured in the crash.

Jessie Tubbs was also seriously injured.

Jackson says his blood alcohol level nearly two hours after the crash was .16- twice the legal limit 

"That's why people shouldn't get behind the wheel of a car when they've been drinking. It's just a dangerous situation and something like this can happen. It's just a tragic situation all around," Jackson said. "Think about all of the families that have been impacted by this. When you get behind the wheel drinking and driving, you're not thinking and there are severe consequences."

Jackson said for Tubbs, he essentially received a life sentence due to his age. 

"He is in his mid 70s so we feel like this was a fair sentence. Of course, you can't bring the victims back and they're still in pain over everything but it did help bring some closure," Jackson said. 

WSFA reached out to Evelyn Miree, the Marion woman driving the car in which members of her family were killed and injured. She declined to do an interview or comment on Tubbs' sentencing. 

She says has been through a lot these past two years and she is glad the court case is over, adding that she is "not second guessing anything" when asked about Tubbs' plea deal. 

WSFA 12 News also contacted Jessie Tubbs' defense lawyer, Joe Guillot, who described this as a very tragic case for all involved. Guillot said Tubbs is a"decent man" with no criminal history who made "bad decision to drink and drive." 

"He is a very nice gentleman who, because of unfortunate circumstances, ended up getting in a wreck where two people died. There are no winners in this case at all. Now, Mr. Tubbs, at 74, will end up having to spend time behind bars," Guillot said. "It's unfortunate all the way around."

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