Arnold woman gets prison for drunk-driving wreck that killed gra -

Arnold woman gets prison for drunk-driving wreck that killed granddaughter

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By Belo Content KMOV By Belo Content KMOV

(KMOV) – An Arnold woman was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for killing her granddaughter in a drunk-driving accident in 2011. 

Theresa Fortner, 49, was sentenced Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court.

Fortner was driving from Arnold to St. Louis with her 20-month-old granddaughter on July 4, 2011 when she crashed into a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence as she exited Interstate 55. 

Witnesses said she was driving so fast that the wheels on the driver’s side were not touching the ground. 

Both Fortner and the child were rushed to an area hospital. The child was pronounced dead the next day due to severe blunt force trauma. 

A black box inside the car revealed Fortner was driving about 69 mph and never applied the brakes before the collision. 

According to police, family members earlier in the night told Fortner not to drive because she had consumed several alcoholic beverages. Her blood alcohol was later found to be .226, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

In April, Fortner was found guilty of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. 

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.


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