Wrong-way driver sentenced to 15 years - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Wrong-way driver sentenced to 15 years

Patricia Collins Patricia Collins

Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley has sentenced Patricia Collins to 15 years on Tuesday for killing a Bryan County deputy in a wrong-way crash.

Collins, 23, will have seven years to serve in jail and eight years probation. The terms of her probation include participating in random alcohol screenings; getting involved in organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving; avoiding places that serve alcohol; and avoiding contact with the victim's family.

Collins was charged in connection with driving on the wrong way on Interstate 95 in June 2012 and killing Bryan County Sheriff's Deputy Bobby Crapse.

She pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and DUI in court Tuesday morning.

"Sgt. Crapse was a father with young children, a well-respected deputy and a community leader," said Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap. "This is a senseless tragedy that affects so many in our community. We are hopeful that the conclusion of the case will bring closure to his family."

The judge considered her sentence based on evidence presented in the case. The court heard from witnesses that determined the length of her sentence.

Becky Crapse, the victim's mother, gave an emotional statement saying she will never forgive Collins.

A psychotherapist who was working with Collins for the last 18 months said she does not suffer from any type of alcohol addiction. 

The courtroom also heard from several Bryan County deputies who worked with Crapse.

Collins had already agreed to plead guilty, but her sentencing had been delayed because defense attorneys say they had yet to agree on what charges Collins will plead guilty to.

WTOC has also learned that the judge had ruled that Collins' blood-alcohol level was admitted in court. The defense had argued that it should not be because they claim Collins was unconscious at the time the test was given.

A GSP report showed Collins' blood-alcohol level was 0.139 after the crash. Georgia law makes it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or greater.

Crapse leaves behind a wife, three children, parents and extended family.

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