NJ Woman To Spend 12-24 Months In Prison For 2020 Wrong-Way Drunk Driving Crash in Bensalem
The driver who has been charged in a drunk driving crash that killed three people in April 2020 on I-95 in Bensalem (Bucks County), will be sentenced to at least 12 years in prison.
Priscilla Cortez, a 34-year-old woman from Camden, NJ, pleaded guilty back in October to three counts of homicide by vehicle and drunken driving summonses. On Monday, she was sentenced to 12-24 years in prison.
The accident occurred in the northbound lanes of I-95 (near mile marker 33) around 1:40 am on April 1, 2020. She crashed into another vehicle killing Ryan Connell (Levittown, 28), Leanne Popson (Levvitown, 35), and Lucas (Yardley, 36). All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Footage from surveillance cameras in the area showed the vehicle heading the wrong way on the highway before the accident. Cortez was asked if she had consumed alcohol prior to the crash, and told police she had consumed "a lot," officials said in October when she pled guilty.
Cortez was sentenced by Common Please Judge C. Theodore Frisch Jr. The hearing included impact statements from the victim's family members.
“My wife and I lost our son who was a father of three small children. They will never get that back," Connell's father told the court. "The hope and take here will be of the seriousness of drinking and driving and what could be the outcome when making the wrong decision.”
Cortez was treated at the hospital and she consented to a blood draw, which found that her blood-alcohol content was 0.156 percent, according to a release shared by the Bucks County's District Attorney. The tests also found that she had marijuana in her system.