CINCINNATI -- A woman who drove the wrong way on I-71 and caused a fatal crash was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison and a lifetime driving suspension.
Taryn Chin, 22, was driving northbound in the southbound lanes when she struck and killed Jose Arenas Perez, 47, at around 3 a.m. on Feb. 17. Perez, of Florence, Kentucky, was on his way home from work.
Chin’s blood alcohol level was nearly one and a half times the legal limit at the scene of the accident.
Judge Nadine Allen said Chin must serve her three year sentence in full. Allen said she could not justify a longer sentence because Chin has no criminal background.
Maria Valdivia Arenas, Jose Arenas Perez’s sister, said she feels like her life was taken from her when her brother died.
“She [Taryn Chin] has left a mark in my soul… like my soul has been stabbed with a knife,” she said.
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The victim’s niece, Thania Valdivia Arenas, said Perez was supposed to walk her down the aisle. She said he was like a father figure to her.
“Taryn Chin’s family will get her back, but my family will never get my uncle back and that will never change,” she said.
Despite the loss of their loved one, the family expressed sadness for Chin.
Aris Arena, Perez's niece, said she is not satisfied with the outcome of the sentencing.
"We're not happy that she's going to prison, we're not happy with how much time she's going to prison, we're not happy that this even happened... we'd just love to get him back," she said.
Chin said the accident was extremely out of character for her, and she would do anything to change what happened.
"I am deeply sorry that I have caused such a tragic and traumatic situation. There are no words to express my remorse. My heart hurts so much," Chin said.