DWI Arlington woman gets 16 years for deadly crash

An Arlington woman was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday for a drunk driving wreck that killed one young man and maimed another on Green Oaks Boulevard last year.

Michele Hartmann, the Tarrant County prosecutor, called the sentence a “deterrence verdict and a punishment verdict.” I hope she is right.

The woman, Erica Kolanowski (seen in the photograph in this post), 31, had asked the jury in to assess her punishment after pleading guilty to charges of intoxication manslaughter and and intoxication assault in the January 11, 2009, collision in southwest Arlington. Kolanowski’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

The passenger, 20 year old Joshua Carter, was killed instantly. The driver, Matthew Lundy, is permanently crippled.

I am happy that criminal justice is finally being served, but the civil justice system can never begin to help out these two poor men. I hope long jail sentences like this one will stop drunks from getting behind the wheel and running into us. My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Carter and to Mr. Lundy and his family for all they have had to go through.

I have handled many DWI cases and go after drunk drivers with a vengeance. There is absolutely no excuse for getting behind the wheel if you had consumed any alcohol or drugs that will obviously impair your driving ability.

If you’ve been injured in a wreck involving a drunk driver, you need a civil attorney with experience handing cases involving DUI’s. If you’ve been hurt in a wreck, call or e-mail my office today at 817-885-8000 so I can help you get all the money you deserve.

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