A Versailles woman was sentenced Friday to three years in prison in the 2015 vehicular deaths of a Paducah couple.
Krystal Gayle Chaffins, 46, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of reckless homicide and one count each of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.
Joseph Beemer, 76, and Cynthia Beemer, 73, died at University of Kentucky Hospital shortly after their pickup was struck by another pickup driven by Chaffins on Dec. 2, 2015.
Chaffins’ pickup crossed the center line on Versailles Road near Keeneland and collided with the Beemer’s vehicle. Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell called it “an incredibly tragic event” during sentencing.
The Beemers were visiting relatives in Lexington and were on their way back to Paducah at the time of the crash.
Chaffins went on trial in Fayette Circuit Court in February, but after the prosecution concluded presenting its evidence, Chaffins decided to change her plea to guilty. She was indicted on a charge of second-degree manslaughter but pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless homicide.
As she awaited trial, Chaffins was free on bond but she was charged Nov. 23 on a second offense of driving under the influence in Woodford County.
A police report said Chaffins ran off South Winter Street in Midway and struck a fence, a utility pole and a house. She was sitting in the wrecked Chevrolet when police arrived, and told the officer that she “did not recall being in an accident,” the report said.
Chaffins told the officer that she had been drinking earlier and had taken some prescription medication.
The DUI case is still pending in Woodford District Court. In the meantime, Woodford District Judge Mary Jane Phelps suspended Chaffins’ driver’s license.
“Killing two people did NOT stop Krystal Chaffins from incurring another DUI,” Jennifer Bradford, Cynthia Beemer’s daughter, wrote in a “victim impact statement” to Judge Bunnell before the sentencing.
The Beemers’ estate filed a wrongful death suit against Chaffins a year ago. The estate seeks compensatory and punitive damages. That civil suit is still pending in Fayette Circuit Court.