Judge Karen Crouch reacts to drunken driver's guilty plea

Sister-in-law killed in crash she survived

Judge Karen Crouch is a survivor.

She says a drunken driver who nearly killed her and who killed her sister-in-law, 53-year-old Zayra Flores, hopes 20-year-old Carlos Garcia doesn't get behind the wheel and kill again.

She says Garcia pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI resulting in fatality and serious bodily injury. He could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

"Nothing is going to bring my sister-in-law back ... so no punishment is really going to be the answer," said Crouch.

In October 2011, Garcia hit Crouch's car head-on in Vermont. She was driving and her sister-in-law was in the passenger seat.

Garcia's breath test showed an alcohol level of .230 percent.

Crouch sustained injuries all over her body.

"My knee was blown out (and I had) fractures on my wrist," she said.

In July, she plans to go to Vermont for Garcia's sentencing hearing. She hopes Garcia gets the treatment he needs to stay sober.

"We don't have in 10 years the same person with the same problems coming out and going out and killing someone else," said Crouch.

Garcia's sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 26, 2013.

Crouch said the state of Vermont recommended for Garcia a cap sentence of 10 years in prison, probation, drug and alcohol treatment, as well as mental health treatment.

 For a list of recent stories Mariza Mendoza has done, click here.