The Times-News Express recently reported that a woman convicted in a wrong-way DUI crash that killed four people from California has been sentenced to four consecutive 30-years-to-life prison terms.
Court documents show that in December 2021, 34-year-old Ashley Louise Ricks pleaded guilty to four counts of DUI first-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors initially charged Ricks with four counts of second-degree murder.
On October 17, 2020, a little after midnight, Ricks entered Interstate 40 near El Reno, Oklahoma, going the wrong way. Ricks’ vehicle collided head-on with another car. The driver of the victims’ car lost control, going into a ditch where it overturned and burst into flames.
A mother, a grandmother, and two children were traveling from San Diego to visit family in Ohio were trapped inside the burning car.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and emergency crews responded to the crash but could not save the people inside the car. All four were pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement officers at the scene reported Ricks smelled strongly of alcohol and determined that Ricks had been driving at a high rate of speed at the time of the fatal crash. Ricks was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Traffic Homicide Unit conducted a thorough investigation and obtained a BAC and other information that led to Ricks’ conviction.