Driver sentenced to 7.5 years in crash that killed twin toddlers, grandfather

FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - A 24-year-old driver who admitted to being distracted by her cell phone before a crash that killed twin toddlers and their grandfather was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

Jessica Hood will also serve five years probation once she is released from prison.

Hood pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault charges in March, almost three years to the day since her vehicle hit a group of pedestrians.

Hood was distracted as she drove 1,000 feet for 14 to 16 seconds and veered off Weaver Road. She never even saw people walking on the sidewalk, officials said.

Charles Napier, 52, and his 28-year-old daughter were each pulling wagons carrying three children, Ethan and twins Samantha May and Sean. Napier and the twins died at the scene.

Napier's daughter and the third child were injured.

Before sentencing, Hood addressed the victim's family.

"I just want to say that I'm really sorry for what has happened to you guys and your family and I really wish I could take it back and change everything that happened," she said.

After repeatedly denying using her cell phone at the time of the crash, Hood admitted guilt in March, officials said.

"At the time of her plea, she told the Court that she was distracted because she was looking at her phone, attempting to plug in her auxiliary cord and change the music from a CD to her phone," read a press release from Florence Police Chief John McDermond and Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith.

Following the sentencing, the family of the victims addressed the court and say while justice has been served, it's been a long time coming.

"If she had any remorse she wouldn't have waited three years. I lost my best friend. I lost my husband," Brenda Napier said.

"Eventually she's going to go home to a family while I still don't get to hug or kiss my kids goodnight or have those moments of watching my kids graduate or school performances or watching my daughter learn how to walk," the mother of the twins, Elizabeth Napier said.

The FBI assisted the Boone County Sheriff's office in gathering cell phone data evidence.

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