Parents whose two kids and niece drowned after they drove into floods avoid jail

Parents whose two kids and niece drowned after they drove into floods avoid jail

Community Service, Floods

1/29/2022 12:32:00 PM

Parents whose two kids and niece drowned after they drove into floods avoid jail

Daniel and Lacey Rawlings were given 60 months of supervised probation without jail time in their sentencing on Thursday,

The horror incident happened on November 29 of 2019, after a period of heavy rain in the area north of Phoenix, People reported.Authorities alleged that he drove the vehicle around the barricade and through the creek - a journey he had made several times earlier that day.

The bodies of the couple's 5-year-old son, Colby, and the boy's cousin, 5-year-old Austin, were recovered the following morning, while the body of Colby’s sister, 6-year-old Willa, was found two weeks later on the edge of the lake, several miles away.

Read more: The Mirror »

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A couple whose two children and niece drowned when the family car drove into a flooded creek in 2019 have escaped jail time. Daniel and Lacey Rawlings were given 60 months of supervised probation without jail time in their sentencing on Thursday. In a Colorado court, Judge Timothy Wright sentenced Daniel to 60 months of probation and 1,000 hours of community service, while Lacey received 48 months of supervised probation and 480 hours of community service. The horror incident happened on November 29 of 2019, after a period of heavy rain in the area north of Phoenix, People reported. The Bar X Crossing at Tonto Creek had flooded and authorities had placed a barricade to turn vehicles away from the area. Daniel was driving the military-style vehicle, with seven children in the back. Authorities alleged that he drove the vehicle around the barricade and through the creek - a journey he had made several times earlier that day. However, this time the vehicle was swept up in the rushing water. The parents and four of the children were rescued by helicopter, but the three other children did not survive. The bodies of the couple's 5-year-old son, Colby, and the boy's cousin, 5-year-old Austin, were recovered the following morning, while the body of Colby’s sister, 6-year-old Willa, was found two weeks later on the edge of the lake, several miles away. Both Daniel and Lacey were each initially charged with seven counts of child abuse. Daniel, who was behind the wheel of the vehicle, was also charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter. In December, Daniel entered a guilty plea to three counts of manslaughter and seven counts of child abuse. Meanwhile, Lacey pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse. Speaking in court on Thursday afternoon, Lacey described the incident as a “mistake [she agonizes] over every minute”. “I will continue to agonize over it for the rest of my life," she said. "I'm so sorry." Lacey went on to describe her surviving children as being her “world”. "My kids are the reason I get out of bed every single day. My kids are the reason I found a way to move on. They deserve a happy life. They deserve a mother who tries her absolute hardest to give them everything they need." Daniel took the stand next to read a prepared statement. "I wish every day that I could go back and relive and redo the events of that horrific day," he said. "I wish I could take that trauma and carry it myself. I wish I could take everybody's pain and bottle it up and hold it myself because nobody deserves to endure pain that I have caused them." While many family members spoke on the couple’s behalf, at least one relative urged the judge not to be too lenient. Austin’s grandmother, Lynn Morey, told the judge she still has nightmares about the incident. "Cutting corners when it comes to children's safety is a deal-breaker,” she said. "Thanksgiving has never been the same since. That feeling of dread lingers throughout the weekend, overshadowing everything our family does, despite our attempts to live through this, be grateful and move on." The couple's probation begins immediately. Read More Read More