On Friday she entered a guilty plea to four counts of felony DUI, and on Monday, Tara Leigh Cox heard her sentence for a DUI crash in which four people were killed.
Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald sentenced Cox to serve 60 years — with 30 years suspended and 30 years in with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Four people died and three were injured in the head-on crash on Highway 53 in Pearl River County around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
Cox was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado when she collided head-on with a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic. Four of the five people in the Sonic were pronounced dead at the scene.
Cox’s blood alcohol level was nearly two times the limit allowed by state law.
District Attorney Hal Kittrell announced the plea in the case that was investigated by Mississippi Highway Patrol. Assistant District Attorney John Dowdy Jr. represented Mississippi in the prosecution.
“The law allows an adult to drink. The law allows an adult to drive. The law does not allow an adult to drink and drive,” Kittrell said in a statement after the sentencing.
“This case exemplifies how the extremely poor decision to drive after drinking can result in the tragic loss of life,” he said.
While the sentence can’t cure the grief felt by those who loved the four victims, he said he hopes it will be a deterrent to others from drinking and driving.