YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Poland woman who pleaded guilty to her role in a deadly wrong-way crash learned her sentence on Wednesday.
Judge Anthony Donofrio sentenced Jayce Klink to 12 months in prison and suspended her license for five years.
In January, Klink pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Almost two and a half years after the devastating crash, the father of victims Tiara and Sharenda Whatley came looking for justice.
“It’s been a grueling, hard, hard months, years over this situation,” said father Kenneth Whatley.
The crash on Interstate 680 in Youngstown happened back on Dec. 2, 2020. It claimed the life of Tiara and left her sister badly hurt.
Prosecutors say Klink was driving the wrong way down the highway when her car hit the Whatleys’ head-on.
“So I’m still dealing with this, this night over and over and over,” Sharenda said.
Since the crash, Sharenda says she has endured a number of surgeries, including a complete hip replacement just nine days ago. But through her tears, Sharenda says her older sister was robbed of her future.
“College, marriage, grandkids. Some things that we [were] supposed to do together,” Sharenda said.
Klink’s lawyer told Judge Donofrio that although it was a terrible tragedy, the mishap was just an accident. When it was her turn to speak, Klink apologized.
“I wake up every day thinking about it and I wish that I could go back somehow and change the outcome of that night. I wish I could take away this family’s pain,” Klink said.
Don’t miss the next breaking news story. Sign up for breaking news email alerts below.
In the end, although the defense asked for probation, the judge said the harm done to the victims made the case that much worse.