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Driver sentenced for accident that left a grandfather, two toddlers dead in Florence

Driver was sentenced to 7.5 years for the distracted driving accident that left twins and their grandfather dead in Florence in 2015 (WKRC)

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (WKRC) - A judge sentenced a distracted driver who killed a man and two toddlers in Florence three years ago to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Jessica Hood had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault for the deadly accident.

Hood was driving on Weaver Road when she hit and killed 49-year-old Charles Napier and his twin grandchildren, 13-month-olds Sean and Samantha May. Napier’s daughter, 28-year-old Susan Elam, suffered injuries as did Napier’s grandson 3-year-old Ethan May.

During her plea hearing, Hood said she had been distracted while change the music from a CD to her cell phone. Her car left the road. Investigators determined she traveled nearly 1,000 feet in about 15 seconds. She never saw the group walking along the road.

Hood apologized for her actions. "I'm really sorry for what's happened to you guys and your family. I really wish that I could take it back and change how everything happened. I just want to do whatever I can in the future to help this not happen for other families and other people."

Her attorney says Hood plans to speak about the dangers of distracted driver after she's released from prison.

Family members, including Charles Napier's wife, were upset that it took three years for the case to be resolved. "Jessica stood up here on March 14 and told us she had remorse. If she had any remorse she wouldn't have waited three years to give us justice."

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

Following the prison time, Hood will be on probation for another five years.

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