PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A man convicted of causing an accident that killed a 12-year-old girl in Jefferson Hills three years ago will spend at least one year in jail.
A judge sentenced 20-year-old Matthew Frank, of Montgomery County, to one to two years behind bars, eight years of probation and a $2,500 fine.
Authorities say Frank’s vehicle crashed into a truck on Gill Hall Road.
He was charged with driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault, speeding and reckless driving.
Tia Wright, of Pleasant Hills, was killed in the crash. Her father and her friend who were also in the truck were injured.
“What message is being sent – so you can drink and drive, you can kill someone – you’re going to get a slap on the wrist and one year,” said Sherry Wright, the victim’s mother.
Since the accident Frank’s attorney says his client has changed, becoming a counselor and has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
“This case isn’t about punishment, it’s tragic for both families,” said Patrick Thomassey, the defense attorney. “I’m glad it’s over. It [has] been exhausting.”
However, Wright’s family members say it will never be over for them.
“It’s your child, who wouldn’t miss your child. It’s the love she gave you,” said Sherry Wright. “A part of us is dead. They killed a portion of us the day he killed Tia, and we will never get that back, ever.”