A mother suspected of driving drunk and causing a crash that injured her three children, including an infant, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison Thursday afternoon.
Mayra Trancoso Gonzalez, 29, had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when she drove her Chevy Suburban into oncoming traffic on Camino Del Norte in Rancho Bernardo on Nov. 12, 2018 and hit a Jeep head-on, said the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.
Gonzalez’s three daughters including a 9-month-old, an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old were in the SUV at the time of the crash.
The 9-month-old was riding unrestrained in the arms of the 8-year-old. The force of the collision threw the infant into the windshield leaving her with life-threatening injuries, including a skull fracture.
The 8-year-old suffered a broken bone and the 2-year-old suffered facial injuries.
The driver of the Jeep also suffered serious injuries. The 57-year-old U.S. Navy veteran had to undergo five surgeries due to the incident and was unable to work for six months. He said he will be in constant pain due to the accident and asked the judge for the maximum sentence, according to Deputy District Attorney Ramona McCarthy, who read his statement in court.
Gonzalez was taken to Palomar Hospital and was placed in custody after the crash and was arraigned from her hospital bed a few days later.
Gonzalez had her license suspended after a prior DUI conviction that occured when she was pregnant. A case which she was still on probation for at the time of the crash, according McCarthy.
In both DUI cases, Gonzalez had a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.20, McCarthy said.
McCarthy gave an update on the condition of the 9-month old and said she is still on a feeding tube, calling her a "miracle baby."
New details emerged during the sentencing describing what happened moments before the crash.
The 8-year-old daughter said she took the 9-month old out of the car seat before the accident because she "was crying so hard she was turning blue and thought she was suffocating."
Also, the DA said Gonzalez spent the entire day drinking and driving her children around. The 8-year-old was even able to name the type of beers her mom was drinking that day.
A criminal protective order was filed preventing Gonzalez from contacting her children in any way after the crash.
It was “for the safety of the children. We are very concerned for them,” according to McCarthy.
Gonzalez’s attorney asked for compassion from the judge as she considered the sentencing.
"To this day I have nightmares about it and I am very remorseful for the pain and the hurt that I caused. I take full responsibility for the accident that I caused," said Gonzalez. "In the year of being away from my children I have reflected on my mistakes. I have taken several classes such as a woman's way to the 12 steps, alcoholics anonymous, high school and parenting."
She was charged with three counts of felony child abuse, two of which alleged great bodily injured occurred and felony DUI.
She pleaded guilty to these charges back in August.