Deal allowed drunk driver to avoid jail time
BATON ROUGE- A woman who admitted to driving drunk three years ago, is facing charges now of drinking and driving again and causing a deadly crash Tuesday night.
The crash killed 19-year-old Tashadow Gray. Investigators said 30-year-old T'Naia Burnette swerved into her lane and killed her. They believe she had been drinking prior to the wreck.
Family members said Gray was in the prime of her life, and was about to start college next week where she wanted to major in Business.
"My sister and her husband are taking it real bad," Ruth Young, Gray's aunt said. "It's real hard. She can barely take it."
Four years ago, T'Naia Burnette was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She blew a .269 but a year later, that was reduced and amended to a .149.
According to City Prosecutor Anderson Dotson, anyone who blows over a .15 must serve jail time or home incarceration. Because Burnette's blood alcohol level was reduced to .149, she avoided that penalty.
Tonight, Gray's family is demanding answers wondering if that deal allowed her to be on the road Tuesday night.
"I want to see justice," Young said. "My niece wasn't but 19. Getting ready to start college next week and her life shouldn't have been taken like that."
As if Tuesday's tragedy wasn't enough, this isn't the first time this family has gone through something like this. Three years ago, another loved one got killed in a head on crash. Dondray London was among four people killed in a car that nearly exploded on I-10 in LaPlace when they were hit by a driver going the wrong way. That driver also died.
They gathered today, because they know this grief all too well.
"It hurts," Lashonda Parker, another one of Gray's aunt said. "That's pain. If you ain't been through it, you ain't gonna know how it feels."
For now, the family finds solace in pictures of Gray with her shining smile.
"She was the sweetest child in the world," Young said. "Anything she had, anybody could get. She'd do anything for you, anything you asked her."
We went to Burnette's last known address, but no one was home.
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