Man sentenced for DUI crash that killed two teens in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Zachary Smith has been sentenced in connection with a crash that took the lives of two teenagers in Lexington.
Back in November, Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter as part of a plea deal, just one week before he was scheduled to stand trial.
According to police, on January 9, 2021, Smith was driving a Ford Explorer on Athens Boonesboro Road around 7 p.m. When he crossed the center line and collided head-on with another car.
Police say 16-year-old Hailey Smith and her brother, 19-year-old Andrew Smith, were killed in the crash.
The mother of Hailey and Andrew, Brandy Workman, clinged to her family and friends minutes before learning Smith’s fate.
“They’re going to be forever missed,” said Workman. “I didn’t realize one man had the power to change the world. Zachary Smith had the power to change many. So everybody’s worlds changed. And they’ll never be the same.”
The brother and sister were heading back to Workman’s house after celebrating Andrew’s birthday together.
“It was a great time,” said Workman’s boyfriend, Cary Burger. “Andrew’s 19th birthday. Before, Hailey had made a special cake at home, and that cake is in our freezer to this day, untouched.”
After dinner, Workman and Burger took Hailey’s one-year-old daughter Zoey home. Hailey and Andrew were following behind them.
“We thought maybe they stopped and met some friends after that birthday celebration,” said Burger. “Then Brandy handed me the phone and said Fayette County Coroner. I know her heart sank. She crawled in the corner of the kitchen.”
Two years later, the family and friends try to put into words the pain from these losses they’ll never get over.
“Taken away from her at barely a year old, Zoey will never really know what her mother was like. She will never know her uncle Andrew,” said the victim’s grandfather Jamie Jurin. “That one moment in time of your completely selfish, egregious act that you will likely never remember, we will never forget.”
Smith’s arrest citation says his blood-alcohol level was .29, nearly four times the legal limit.
Before the plea deal, Smith was originally scheduled to appear for a jury trial for two charges of second-degree manslaughter, operating on a suspended and revoked license, and aggravated charge of operating a vehicle under the influence and not having registration plates and failing to maintain insurance.
Under the plea deal, Smith was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Seven and a half years for each manslaughter charge.
However, we’re told he’ll be credited with 246 days and could be eligible for parole in a year.
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