For most parents, the chilling prospect of losing a child in a car crash would be enough to persuade them from DUI in Los Angeles when their son or daughter is riding with them. But that didn’t deter one father in Cortland, New York, from getting behind the wheel when he had too much to drink. His six-year-old daughter paid for his bad decision with her life—and now the man will have plenty of time to think about his deadly mistake.
Daniel Haynes III, 30, could spend up to 21 years in state prison in New York under a plea deal he accepted in August. On the evening of April 24, 2015, Haynes was driving from one house to another on West State Road with his three daughters in the back seat. None of them—Alexia, age 6; Asia, age 8; or Arianna, age 10—were wearing seatbelts.
Witnessed said that Haynes had drunk a few beers before getting into the car, and once behind the wheel he began driving recklessly. One report said that his daughters were begging him to slow down. But Haynes, jetting along at 100 miles per hour, blew through a stop sign, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a utility pole. After the crash he tried to drive away, apparently unaware of his daughters’ injuries. (Emergency responders took the two younger girls to the hospital; they had non-life-threatening injuries.)