An Oklahoma driver whose wrong-way, DUI crash in 2020 led to the deaths of four members of a California family, was sentenced Saturday to four 30-years-to-life sentences that she will serve concurrently, according to authorities.
Ashley Louise Ricks, 34, pleaded guilty last month to four counts of first-degree manslaughter after her charges were reduced from second-degree murder, FOX 25 of Oklahoma City reported.
Ricks was driving on Interstate 40 in the wrong direction near El Reno, Oklahoma, just after midnight Oct. 17, 2020, when she crashed head-on into another car. She was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
The victims’ car careened into a ditch, overturned and burst into flames, leaving all four passengers – a grandmother, mother and two children – trapped inside, FOX 25 reported. All four died.
The victims were traveling back to their San Diego-area home after a trip to Ohio, KGTV-TV of San Diego reported at the time.
“Great work by our Traffic Homicide Unit led to Ashley Ricks pleading guilty to four counts of first degree manslaughter,” the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in a statement. “We hope the outcome of the court case brings a measure of comfort to the victims’ families.”
The father of the deceased children is suing Ricks for “wrongful death,” according to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.