Drunk driving mother sentenced to 30 years

A Fernandina Beach woman involved in a fatal crash in October 2016 that killed two of her sons and injured six other children, including her daughter, received a sentence of 30 years in prison on Thursday.

Tonya Naomi Capallia-Eason, 34, pleaded guilty on Feb. 1 to two counts of DUI manslaughter and three counts of DUI serious bodily injury, according to the docket of Circuit Court Judge Robert M. Foster. The prosecution agreed to consider a sentence cap of 30 years and a minimum of 10 years in Florida State Prison.

There was a pre-sentencing investigation, according to the court’s records.

Capallia-Eason was under the influence of alcohol when she got behind the wheel of an SUV the night of Oct. 22, 2016, after a Halloween party. Tests after the accident showed her blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit.

Capallia-Eason was traveling with eight children as passengers in the SUV.

While driving northbound on Lonnie Crews Road, she failed to negotiate a right-hand curve and struck a utility pole before the vehicle overturned on Lina Road. The vehicle came to a final rest on its roof at the shoulder of Lina Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol report.

Capallia-Eason’s sons, Nicholai Capallia and Nehemiah Capallia-Bird, were killed and six of the children were injured in the crash, including daughter Nina Capallia.

A GoFundMe account was created to assist the father of the two boys who died, Andrew Bird. Bird lives in Michigan with daughter Nina.

The GoFundMe account was created by Jason Wolford on behalf of Bird and his wife Sara to help cover travel costs, costs for the continued care of Nina, and burial costs for the two boys, according to the GoFundMe page.

News-Leader

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