SCRANTON — A woman from Lackawanna County admitted causing a deadly crash and pleaded guilty to charges of third degree murder. On Monday, she learned she’ll be heading to prison for a long time.
Sherry Hubert was behind the wheel last July, when she lost control of her vehicle, and slammed into another car.
Two people died.
Prosecutors say she was drunk and was driving recklessly with a suspended license.
The hearing was extremely emotional. Prosecutors say the crash scene was unlike any they had ever seen before and this is the first time in county history a driver faced murder charges because of DUI.
Hubert was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison.
“When my kids get really upset, I tell them, ‘Gram has already forgiven her. We need to do the same.'”
Lydia Riley’s husband, children, grandchildren and friends offered her killer forgiveness at the sentencing in Lackawanna County court. Not because they think it’s deserved, but because they say that’s what Lydia would have done.
Lydia Riley and her close friend Kim Smith were on their way to buy laundry detergent when the crash happened on Oak Street in Taylor last July. Kim Smith was killed instantly, Riley died later at the hospital. Investigators said the other driver was going 90 miles an hour trying to jump the hills on the road.
Hubert was drinking as she drove. Tests showed her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit. Hubert also admits she was high on marijuana. She pleaded guilty to third degree murder after the crash and will now spend 15 to 40 years in prison.
“We spend so many resources trying to get people to realize how selfish an act it is to drive under the influence. And here’s the perfect example, it’s just such a selfish act,” said Assistant D.A. Robert Klein.
Klein calls this case one he’ll carry with him forever. He says the circumstances make it one of the worst DUI crashes in state history.
Lydia Riley’s family hopes there is a silver lining.
“My son just got his driver’s license. I think this is an eye opener for all of them, and his friends. You don’t just hurt yourself, you hurt so many other people,” said Joan Diehl.
“Any good that comes from this, we’ll never know. I’m not going to get a call at 3:00 in the morning from somebody saying, ‘Hey, I saw what happened and I didn’t drive home and smash into anybody else.’ We’ll never know the good that comes from this. All we know is the sadness,” said the victim’s husband Tom Riley.
Hubert spoke to the victims’ family members at the sentencing saying she is remorseful, and that she “will spend the rest of her life making sure (Riley and Smith) did not die in vain by telling our story.”
Hubert was sent back to prison to begin her 15 to 40 year sentence.