Excessive Speeding and Alcohol Use Contributed to Princeton Crash
21-year-old Joshua Bartlett was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for a horrific DWI crash that killed two of his friends and injured four others. Last week, he was convicted of two counts of intoxication manslaughter and four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Joshua faced up to 20 years of incarceration, but was also eligible for the very lenient sentence of community supervision.
Lives Destroyed by DWI Crash
The harrowing details about the fatal DUI crash came out at trial. After drinking heavily, Joshua and six other friends piled into his Mazda hatchback. Only the front seat passengers were wearing seat belts. Joshua was driving 117 mph in a 45 mph zone. According to one teen in the car that night, his friends begged him to slow down. But, ignoring their pleas, he took a curve at 90 mph without hitting his brakes and spun out of control and plowed into a fire hydrant. Joshua's blood alcohol content was .168 percent, more than twice the legal limit. 17 years-old Cody Hensley and Stephan Chaney were killed and the other teens were injured.
The November 2013 DWI crash shocked the small town north of Dallas. With its population of only 7,400, most residents knew the teens who were killed and injured and the teen who was responsible for the tragedy.
Cody was a senior at McKinney North High School and a member of the Cowboy Church of Collin County. He loved being outdoors and was looking forward to serving his country as a Marine. He was described as polite, respectful and laid-back and as somebody who made friends easily and was his own person.
Stephan was a senior at Princeton High School and also a member of the Cowboy Church, where he become best friends with Cody. Stephan was described as being spirited and thoughtful. Even in his last moments, Stephan was thinking about his friends. A teen who survived the crash said that Stephan told her to go check on the others despite his severe injuries.
Joshua will have to live the rest of his life with his friends' death on his conscience. He will also spend a large period of his young adult years behind prison walls.
Recklessness has Consequences
Joshua had a history of reckless conduct. He was arrested for speeding in 2011. Then in April 2012, he was arrested speeding again when he was clocked at 89 mph in a 45 mph zone on the very road where the fatal accident occurred one month later. He was arrested for DWI when he was 17 years old. Sadly, this young man didn't learn his lesson until he destroyed his own life and the lives of his friends and their families.
Berenson Injury Law Advocates for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Drunk driving has tragic consequences for the injured victims and the driver who causes so much pain. It just isn't worth it.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, call our our Dallas-Fort Worth law firm at 817-885-0000 or 1-800-801-8585 for a free case evaluation.