A motorist involved in a crash that killed one man and his twin 13-month-old grandchildren says she was driving while looking at her cellphone.
Jessica Hood, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter and assault charges, nearly three years to the day since she hit six pedestrians on Weaver Road in Florence on March 15, 2015, according to court records. She was charged with three counts of manslaughter and two counts of assault.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Hood told the court during her plea that she was driving distracted. She says she was looking at her cellphone while trying to plug in an auxiliary cord and change the music player from a CD to her cellphone.
Accident reconstruction showed Hood had traveled almost 1,000 feet (305 meters) in 14 to 16 seconds before colliding with the pedestrians. Two other pedestrians were injured.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
The babies, Sean and Samantha May, were riding in a wagon being pulled by an aunt as the group went out for pizza. There were no sidewalks in the area.
“It was horrific,” Pam Perez said time. Her daughter Brittany Ballard, 22, performed CPR on the toddlers, who died at the scene. “She said she tried and she tried.”
Charles Napier, 49, was dead in the ditch of the busy two-lane road. He was pulling a third child in another wagon. That child and the aunt were injured.
Hood pleaded guilty after first fighting the admissibility of key evidence. Hood will be sentenced April 16 by Judge James R. Schrand.