PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Two families are still grieving from a deadly accident in Crook County last June in which speed and alcohol were apparent factors. The driver faced a judge for her sentencing Wednesday after she entered a no contest plea to the charges against her.
Jamie McCormack , 31, was sentenced on charges of criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence.
On June 20th, McCormack was behind the wheel of her pickup in southern Crook County. Leaving a wedding, she was driving her husband, Kurt, his sister and family friend Cayle Krebs, 30, of the Morrow County town of Ione.
Kurt and Krebs were riding in the truck bed when Jamie lost control and the pickup overturned, fatally injuring Krebs.
"I still cannot believe I put myself in this situation," McCormack told Judge Annette Hillman during Thursday's emotional proceedings. " I'm going to have to live with the anger I feel towards myself, towards this horrific, horrific situation for a lifetime."
The defendant, her husband and Krebs' aunt addressed the courtroom.
The aunt spoke of the painful loss of her nephew.
"I know, your honor, that Jamie is a good person. And she didn't mean for Cayle to die," she said. "But it was her choice to drive.
"I truly hope that Cayle didn't die in vain. That his life will be remembered with fondness, and his friends will make the right choice and not get behind the wheel when they've been drinking. Cayle was my boy. I truly wish none of us were here today."
In an effort to lighten his wife's sentence, Kurt McCormack spoke of his pain for not only his wife, but his fraternity brother, groomsman and future brother-in-law.
"Cayle was just one of a few I called a friend.," he said. "That night, when Cayle asked me if he can marry my sister -- I never felt a high like that in my life. I was beside myself with excitement, for both Jamee and Cayle. I never thought in a matter of a few hours I could go from walking on clouds to coming face to face with the devil."
Kurt McCormack added that this tragedy is on all of them, not just his wife.
"I realize Jamie is going to have to face punishment," he said. "Jamie was the one behind the wheel that night, however. The culmination of that night came from a series of lack of judgement from numerous people, myself included."
In her closing comment, Jamie McCormack asked the judge to let her continue to work and contribute to her rural community.
"Having work to focus on during the day. has been the one thing that helps me feel worth something," she said.
Hillman looked Jamie McCormack in the eyes and said: "I've had far too many come before me in similar circumstances to yours. There are far too many incidences involving alcohol and motor vehicles in our community."
"Taking into account your lack of criminal history, but also taking into account the accountability. I'm going to impose a jail sentence of 120 days," the judge said.
She also imposed upon McCormack a sentence of 240 hours of community service and five years of supervised probation, as well as to participate in classes and programs.
But Hillman said that there's no sentence that can bring Krebs back, nor a consequence that can make up for his loss.