Woman gets prison for DUII crash that killed sister
A Medford woman was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for driving while drunk and causing a crash that killed her sister.
Priscilla Ann Rose, 50, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants and criminally negligent homicide for the death of Debbra Mauldin.
On July 27, 2015, Rose was driving erratically and at high speed on Interstate 5 in the fast lane when she cut across the right lane, missing another vehicle, and tried to take Exit 40 near Gold Hill, said Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Nick Geil.
"She struck the guard rail at about 90 mph. There was no evidence of braking," Geil said.
The pickup truck flipped and rolled, killing Mauldin, 50, at the scene. Rose was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. Neil said her blood alcohol level was .25, more than three times the legal limit of .08.
"This has been a very traumatic experience for everyone involved," said Rose's defense attorney, Michael Bertholf.
Bertholf said the last thing Rose remembers was drinking with her sister, then waking up in the hospital. In addition to alcohol, Rose had a mild sedative in her system that her sister may have given her. Mauldin may have dosed other people with sedatives in the past, he said.
Asked if she wanted to say anything at her sentencing, a tearful Rose said to her mother in the audience, "I just love you, mom, and I'm so sorry."
Her mother declined to be interviewed.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Ravassipour said she sees people almost every day in court facing their first DUII charge.
"I try to impart the seriousness of drinking and driving, but sometimes they just don't get it," she said. "The reality is that drinking and driving kills."
Ravassipour urged Rose to share her experiences after she leaves prison.
"Maybe when you get out, you can talk with people about the reality of your story so people know it can happen," Ravassipour said.
In addition to being sentenced to five years in prison, Rose will have her driver's license revoked for life and must pay restitution that will be determined by the court.
"This was a preventable tragedy," Geil said. "The message I want to get to the public is don't drink and get behind the wheel and drive. Tragedy can happen."
—Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or email@example.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.