Driver who was high on meth in Arapahoe County fatal crash is sentenced to 12 years.
A twice-convicted drunk driver, who was on methamphetamine when she hit and killed a woman in a two-vehicle crash, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Cayla Lynn Cushman, 28, was sentenced last week in Arapahoe County District Court for the Feb. 16, 2020, death of 60-year-old Alice Yuan, according to the district attorney’s office.
Yuan was driving home from work after a 10-hour restaurant shift when the crash happened on South Platte Canyon Road in the Columbine Valley area. Drug addled, Cushman was driving 70 mph when her vehicle crossed the center line and hit Yuan’s car. Yuan died at the scene, a news release said.
On Sept. 25, Cushman pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide DUI, according to the release. Other charges against her were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
“Whether you had a gun and killed someone or drove your car drunk and killed someone, a family is destroyed. The devastation you brought is overwhelming,” District Court Judge Darren Vahle said at the sentencing. “You had no right to drive, you had been using an illegal substance, yet you got behind the wheel, and that caused a death. … It was your choices and your decisions.”
Vahle imposed the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement, the release said.
Two of Yuan’s four daughters made statements at the Jan. 14 hearing.
“My family lost a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a grandmother to six grandchildren,” said one daughter, according to the release. “She only stood 5 feet tall, yet she carried so much on her shoulders and did all this with a smile and a laugh.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Brewer read the second daughter’s statement.
“Our father has been disabled for many years now, and our mother was by his side every day,” the statement read. “The fact that the defendant was acting selfishly and decided to speed down a small street that is only 35 mph while under the influence and having been convicted twice prior upsets and infuriates me…My mother did not deserve to die.”
Brewer asked Vahle to impose the maximum sentence.
“We don’t know the real number of times this defendant has driven while under the influence, but we know she has been convicted twice,” Brewer said. “And this time she was under an interlock device, under the influence of meth, and she still chose to drive that night.”
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