Fatal crashes up in Kansas City: Impairment, speed to blame
That’s the hashtag a Missouri woman used for pictures she posted to Instagram of her daughter and several glasses of wine during a gathering in June 2018, prosecutors say.
About 45 minutes later, Samantha Jones, 32, of Smithville left the party with her 5-year-old daughter Macklyn Lucas strapped into a car seat on the rear passenger side of the vehicle, according to a news release from the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Jones lost control of the car shortly after leaving, crashing the side of the vehicle where Macklyn sat into a telephone pole, which snapped into two pieces, prosecutors said.
When police arrived at the scene, Jones was apparently distraught, saying, “My baby is my world. I don’t care if I go to jail, I just want my baby to be OK,” KCTV reported shortly after the crash.
Macklyn died from head trauma three days later at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and Jones was charged with driving while intoxicated, prosecutors said.
Macklyn was called the “princess of Smithville” by Casi Joy, a country singer from Smithville who was a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” and family members remembered her as “caring, compassionate, funny and so wise beyond her years,” The Kansas City Star reported.
Prosecutors said Jones admitted to drinking as much as two bottles of wine in about three and a half hours during the gathering in Camden Point, according to the release. Her blood-alcohol level was .186 about two hours after the crash, which is over twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.
In May, Jones pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, according to the release.
During a sentencing hearing last week, dozens of people attended to show support for Jones, according to the release. Jones’ attorneys read letters that argued she shouldn’t go to prison because she would punish herself for killing her daughter “more than prison ever could,” according to the release.
Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said he didn’t doubt Jones is “anguished” by her daughter’s death but argued she still deserved prison.
“The defendant said moms need drinks,” Zahnd said in a statement. “I will say this: Moms need to put their kids first. Moms need to protect their children. Moms need to obey the law. Moms must not get behind the wheel of a car after they’ve had drinks.”