Fort Collins man sentenced to jail for DUI crash that killed 1, severely injured one other

A Fort Collins man has been sentenced to jail for a driving below the affect and crashing into one other car at a excessive velocity, killing the driving force and severely injuring the passenger.

Alana Thomas, 34, died from her accidents on the hospital 5 days after the “violent” crash within the 7000 block of North Garfield Avenue in Loveland simply earlier than midnight Feb. 26, police stated in a information launch on the time. One other lady was hospitalized with important accidents however survived.

Benjamin Eisenberg, now 27, pleaded responsible to all six costs towards him in August:

  • DUI-related vehicular murder, a Class 3 felony

  • Reckless-driving-related vehicular murder, a Class 4 felony

  • DUI-related vehicular assault, a Class 4 felony

  • Vehicular assault ensuing from reckless driving, a Class 5 felony

  • Driving below the affect, an unclassified misdemeanor

  • Reckless driving, a Class 2 site visitors offense

In an emotional courtroom listening to Friday, Choose Daniel McDonald sentenced Eisenberg to 12 years in jail for the vehicular murder of Thomas and a further six years in jail for the vehicular assault of the passenger, who was Thomas’s good buddy. These sentences will run consecutively to one another, for a complete of 18 years within the Division of Corrections.

“What you probably did is horrific,” McDonald stated to Eisenberg. “… The ache you will have precipitated is irreparable.”

The passenger who was injured within the crash informed the choose this incident not solely misplaced her a superb buddy, however the traumatic mind harm she sustained from the crash will negatively impression her the remainder of her life.

“I nonetheless cannot consider we have been in the identical automobile and I am right here and she or he’s not,” she stated.

She was so severely injured after the crash that she could not transfer with out help from her husband, and even when she did transfer she felt extreme ache and nausea, she informed the choose. Her accidents have been so extreme she was unable to journey to Denver to say goodbye to Thomas when her household determined to take her off of life help. She and her husband needed to document a voice memo to say goodbye as an alternative, and Thomas’s husband performed it for her.

“That is one of many worst issues I’ve ever heard,” McDonald stated.

She stated their final dialog whereas driving again residence from a lady’s evening at a buddy’s home was about how Thomas did not like hugging in social conditions as a result of it made her uncomfortable, and her buddy promised to not hug her once more except she requested for one — a promise she stated she is “heartbroken” to have the ability to preserve now.

She is not simply dwelling with grief, however with a traumatic mind harm that continues to make it not possible to dwell the life she used to, she informed McDonald. She’s delicate to mild and sound, has hassle multitasking, and may’t do issues like video name or speak on the telephone along with her members of the family in Australia for quite a lot of minutes. Her mind sends incorrect indicators to her coronary heart when she strikes round, inflicting her elevated exhaustion along with her every day and weekly occupational and bodily remedy calls for. She has additionally been identified with PTSD.

“I am so pissed off and offended,” she stated. “None of that is my fault.”

Household and pals of each victims shared with the choose what else they misplaced due to Eisenberg’s determination to drink and drive. The passenger’s husband stated his spouse’s “mild is not what it was, her fireplace is not as scorching and her soul is not as vivid.”

Thomas’s husband stated in a written assertion learn by a buddy as a result of his grief made it not possible to attend that he is had hassle accepting “this devastating actuality of dwelling with out her.”

“I’ve by no means met anybody who cherished me like Alanna did,” he stated.

The 2 had a small wedding ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been planning on a bigger one later in 2022. They have been wanting to buy a home and had future plans to journey and have kids.

“There are futures that can by no means occur now, there are kids who won’t ever be born,” due to Eisenberg’s actions, McDonald stated.

Eisenberg was driving between 111 and 133 mph when he hit Thomas’s car, in keeping with the prosecution. His blood alcohol content material was thrice the authorized restrict about three hours after the crash.

Eisenberg informed the courtroom he deeply regrets the selections he made and the ache he precipitated that day. He had an issue with alcohol on the time and drank excessively throughout the day of the crash. His protection lawyer stated Eisenberg has all the time expressed regret and a need to take full accountability for his actions.

“I’ve thought each single day I want I might commerce my life for hers,” Eisenberg stated. “I’ve all the time needed to make use of my life to elevate folks up, to not destroy lives.”

Eisenberg, who was out on bond on the time of his sentencing, was taken into custody instantly after Friday’s listening to. Due to the character of the case, McDonald ordered Eisenberg to pay restitution to the victims on an ongoing foundation.

This text initially appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Fort Collins man sentenced to jail in deadly Loveland DUI crash

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