Drunken driver gets 3 years in prison for double-fatal crash

Billings, Montana (AP) 3-08

A 20-year-old Hardin man who pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for a crash that killed his sister and his fiancee was sentenced to three years in prison.

Travis Martin, who was driving drunk, pleaded guilty in October for the March 8, 2006, deaths of his sister, Hannah Martin, 16, and his fiancee, Tracy D. Cedar, 26, both of Hardin. Four other children, ages 4 through 15, also were in the vehicle. The group was traveling home from the funeral of Thomas Glenn, of Wyola, who had died from injuries suffered in a vehicle crash.

“You don’t operate a motor vehicle while you’re drunk,” District Judge Richard Cebull told Martin, who was seriously injured in the wreck.

“I don’t need to remind you there were multiple deaths,” the judge said. “Maybe the word will get out and it will deter someone from doing what you did. There is no excuse for your conduct.”

The sentence will qualify Martin for a drug and alcohol treatment program offered by the Bureau of Prisons.

Court records indicate Martin was driving drunk and speeding on the Crow Reservation when he veered off the road, overcorrected and his truck rolled.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek said Martin was traveling about 80 mph and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent two hours after the crash. A person is considered legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.

Martin said he doesn’t remember the accident. When he pleaded guilty, he said the last thing he remembered before waking up in the hospital was passing a car.

“For the grace of God, He helps carry me through this,” he told Cebull at the sentencing hearing.