A jury in Nassau County, in the northeast corner of Florida, convicted Shawn Blitchington, 48, to 60 years in jail for the crimes of involuntary manslaughter under the influence (DUI), hit and run and driving with a permanently revoked license.
The incident occurred in July 2018, when Blitchington, in a drunken state, was driving his truck at night in the opposite direction and without lights on US 301 and collided head-on with another car in which 22-year-old Bailey McKnight was traveling, and her partner Ryan Kennedy, 21.
As a result of the impact, the couple died, she in a state of eight months’ gestation and the mother of another child, the local channel News4JAX picked up.
Blitchington fled the scene on foot but was arrested shortly after by police officers near the scene.
“When he decided of his free will to drink excess alcohol on July 22, 2018, get behind the wheel of his truck and drive on the roads of Nassau County, he became a force of destruction to those who got unlucky to get in his way that night,” Judge James Daniel told Blitchington at the sentencing hearing.
Blitchington read a letter of apology to the families of the fatalities, present in the room, in which he referred to the pain caused by “their actions and bad decisions” and addiction to alcohol.
“So sorry. I have caused a lot of pain and suffering. There is nothing I can do to fix this,” he said.
Records show that Blitchington had five prior arrests for driving under the influence and had a revoked driver’s license.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.