Five months after she slammed at high speed into the back of a police squad car on Interstate 94, Yessica Trevino wept quietly as she waited to hear her sentence.
Trevino, 31, pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated causing injury and operating without a license causing great bodily harm for the Dec. 2 crash.
Trevino admitted driving drunk with her three children in the car when she lost control and struck a Wisconsin State Trooper’s car and a tow truck that were stopped in the southbound lanes of the interstate in Bristol, responding to an earlier emergency call.
Trevino’s 11-year-old son was ejected from her car and struck the median but survived. Her other two children — an infant and a toddler — were not properly secured in the car and were also injured.
“You are, in my opinion, the luckiest woman who has ever walked into my courtroom,” Judge Mary K. Wagner told Trevino, saying she could have easily killed six people in the crash, including herself and her three children. “You are also a foolish woman. ... You are going to prison today. You deserve to go to prison.”
Trevino, of Fond du Lac, was driving from her home to her brother’s home in Waukegan, Ill., when the crash occurred. She told deputies she had been drinking before leaving home, but said she felt fine to drive.
Investigators also found open containers of alcohol and a pill bottle filled with marijuana in her vehicle.
“I have always referred to this as the miracle case in the office,” said District Attorney Michael Graveley, saying it was miraculous that no one was killed in the crash given the damage to the vehicles and the fact that a child was ejected.
Tony Wistert, the tow truck driver involved in the crash, spoke at the sentencing. He said he was so shaken up by the crash that he had to leave his job.
“What happened, what I seen, it still messes with my mind and it messes with my sleep,” he said, saying he saw Trevino’s son “crawling out from under my truck.”
Wistert said when he saw the damage to the squad car he thought the trooper could have been decapitated.
“For Ms. Trevino to get in that car with three of her kids, driving, that was crazy,” he said. “I think she needs to think about what she’s done.”
Trevino spoke briefly to Wagner, weeping, asking for a second chance and an opportunity to return to her children.
Her defense attorney Barry Bouches asked that Trevino be given a suspended sentence, saying she had never been arrested in the past and had never before been separated from her children.
“She’s been living a nightmare that she created,” Bouches said. “I think the time has come to end this nightmare and let her go back to her kids.”
Wagner disagreed. She sentenced Trevino to 18 months in prison followed by six months of extended supervision and three years of probation.
She said Trevino needs treatment for substance abuse. Trevino was also ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution. She will receive credit for 145 days spent in jail.
“I’m very grateful that no one died, and I’ve very grateful that you are alive to see another day,” Wagner said.