Drunk Driver: I Would Give My Life for His

Shannon Shimp cried throughout most of the hearing.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego.com

    In one instant, several families were torn apart. The emotions poured out in the courtroom as a convicted drunk driver was sentenced to prison.

    It was a day of tears and apologies for Shannon Shimp as he talked about what happened that day.

    "I'm just so very sorry," he said Friday in court. "If there was anything I could do to make things right, even if it meant give my life for theirs, I would do it in a second."

    The judge called it genuine remorse. Still, he said it does not change what happened that night.

    Shimp's blood-alcohol-level was twice the legal limit when his work truck went around a blind curve on state route 78, slamming into a Lexus, killing a passenger in his own truck, as well as 19-year-old Ian Kinney who was driving that other car.

    "I couldn't move," Tessa Madearis wept in court. She was Kinney's girlfriend and riding in the passenger seat.

    Madearis suffered two fractured feet, a cracked spine, shattered hands, but worst of all, a broken heart.

    "I had to watch my boyfriend take his last few breaths, and couldn't do anything about it. I had to watch him take his last few breaths with the car basically inside his body," she said.

    Shimp's father spoke in court Friday, at one point turning to the victim's family to apologize.

    But to the family an apology isn't enough.

    "We see him everywhere, yet we will never lay eyes on him again.  Shannon Shimp is responsible for that," the victim's sister-in-law Katie Watson said.

    "It was killing a life that was so important to so many people. Your honor, please give him the maximum," the victim's mother Deborah Kinney said.

    And that's what the judge did, sentencing Shimp to 16-years in prison.

    "It is hard for me to understand why I'm still here, breathing and living on this planet without my son," Kinney said.

    Shimp could have gone to prison for much longer. He was acquitted of the second-degree murder charges.