Washington woman sentenced to 9 years in prison for fatal wrong-way crash

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Nichole McCaslin was sentenced to nine years in prison Wednesday. (Photo: KPTV/Portland)

LONGVIEW, Wash. (KPTV) — A woman who drove the wrong way on a Longview, Wash., street and hit and killed a man driving with his family will spend nine years behind bars.

According to KPTV in Portland, Nichole McCaslin was sentenced in court Wednesday. She pleaded guilty last week to charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and third-degree assault.

McCaslin was arrested in February after the collision involving four cars on Tennant Way.

Police arriving at the scene were told a Jeep Grand Cherokee going the wrong way caused the crash.

McCaslin was trapped in the Jeep and had to be rescued by Longview firefighters. Another driver, 47-year-old Brett Dawdy, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Dawdy’s wife suffered a broken back and his daughter had a broken pelvis from the crash. Five other victims who were treated and released at the hospital.

Court documents state McCaslin told a paramedic she had two beers at a Longview bar before the collision. Officers described her eyes as bloodshot, droopy and watery.

A Longview police officer also said McCaslin spoke in a slurred and lethargic manner, according to a probable cause affidavit, KPTV reported. When she was advised of her Miranda rights, the affidavit states she told the officer, “Of course, I know my rights, my husband is a lawyer. What do you want to ask me?”

On Wednesday, McCaslin cried as she apologized in the courtroom.

“I will forever be sorry and I will forever remember Mr. Dawdy and he will be forever in my prayers,” she said. “And all I can say is I am so, so sorry and I will be every day for the rest of my life.”

McCaslin was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison, with 18 months post-prison supervision.

Dawdy’s wife made a tearful statement in court, saying McCaslin “knowingly decided to get behind the wheel of a moving vehicle under the influence of alcohol.”

“On Feb. 21, 2014, you killed my husband,” she said.

She said the last thing she remembers about the crash was her husband’s last words before he took his final breath.

“I remember my husband taking my hand and kissing me and telling me how much he loved me,” she said.

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