INDIAN LAND, S.C. — A woman who South Carolina troopers say was driving drunk and killed three people in a Lancaster County crash in January has pleaded guilty.
Channel 9's South Carolina reporter Greg Suskin was in the courtroom when 27-year-old Felicia Coffey pled guilty to three counts of felony DUI causing death.
She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Coffey had no criminal record before the crash and could have faced up to 25 years in prison on each of the three counts.
Police said the crash happened when a car Coffey was driving crashed into several trees off U.S. 521 in Indian Land on Jan. 27 around 1:30 a.m.
Troopers said there were six people crammed into a five seater car, and one person was sitting on another person's lap. Prosecutors said the group had been to two bars and all had been drinking.
Sandra Coffey, 31, Crystal Johnson, 40, and Demarco Frazier, 30, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Lancaster County coroner.
The other three, including Felicia Coffey, were taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Officials said the three injured were wearing seatbelts.
In court Monday, through a spokesperson, family of the victims said Coffey had not shown remorse and had never apologized for what she did.
"After the accident, no once did she apologize to any of our family members. Instead of coming to us, she ran to Facebook posting her injuries and seeking attention," a letter from one family said.
Her defense lawyer said she was very remorseful, saying she was perpetually crying and apologizing.
The father of one of the victim's asked for the maximum sentence.
"If you would do this for friends and family, then we'd feel in our hearts that justice has been served," Elmo Frazier said.
The judge said this case was very difficult because everyone involved was close -- siblings, loved ones and friends.
One family member begged the court not to take Coffey from her four young children, who already lost their father Demarco Frazier in the same crash.
"Don't make them grow up forever without their momma," the family member said. "I wish I could bring their daddy back. I wish I could bring Crystal back. I wish I could bring my cousin back."
Channel 9 was at the scene as a tow truck pulled the 2009 Honda Accord out of the woods.
Drivers who travel Highway 521 said this tragedy is a safety wake up call.
"Hearing something like that definitely makes me want to monitor my speed so that I'm not doing anything reckless," driver La'Brece Knox said.
Neighbors said they could hear the crash from inside their homes.
"I heard a big boom. It came out of nowhere. I was getting ready to go to bed and I had no idea what it was," neighbor Scott Carpenter said.
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