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Driver sentenced for DUI crash that killed his girlfriend

[anvplayer video=”973983″ /] PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man accused of driving drunk and causing a wrong-way crash that killed his girlfriend and injured two other people admitted to the crimes Thursday.

Jeremy Leiva apologized in court before being sentenced on six charges related to the death of 25-year-old Flory Hernandez.

“I’m so sorry,” Leiva said in court. “Flory Hernandez was the love of my life, my partner and my best friend. Through her, I learned what true love was about.”

Back in March of 2015, police said Leiva was driving south in the northbound lane of I-95 in Pawtucket when he struck an oncoming pickup truck.

Hernandez, a passenger in Leiva’s vehicle, was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital. The two had been dating for eight months, according to her family.

Flory Hernandez
Flory Hernandez

On Thursday, Leiva was sentenced to 15 years in prison with three to serve at the ACI, three on home confinement, and the rest on probation with a number of restrictions. His sentence is slated to begin in August.

The occupants of the truck, Andrea and Scott Spillane of Taunton were seriously injured.

In a victim impact statement read by the prosecutor before the sentencing, Andrea Spillane asked for Leiva to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“My hope for you is that you are punished,” the statement read. “I didn’t choose to be victimized be an uninsured driver. I will live in pain and with arthritis daily because of your actions.”

Spillane said after multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, she will never walk properly again.

Reached Thursday after the sentencing, Spillane said she felt justice was served.

The victim’s father, on the other hand, asked that Leiva not get prison time because he’s been taking care of Hernandez’s child since her death.

“I recognize that Jeremy loved my daughter and would not have intentionally hurt her,” he said in a statement read by the prosecutor. “I do not believe that sending him to jail would serve any purpose.”

The judge commended Leiva for caring for a child that isn’t his, and acknowledged the tragic situation before sentencing him to prison.