BATH — A 35-year-old Hope woman was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for causing a 2017 crash that killed a Woolwich couple.

Danielle Ward had six children in her vehicle when the collision occurred, and tests showed she had drugs in her system.

Ward was sentenced Tuesday in Sagadahoc County Superior Court to 15 years in prison with all but six years suspended, on two counts of manslaughter, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Baroody said. Ward will then be on probation for four years. Prosecutors had sought 16 years with all but 10 years suspended; the defense had asked for 10 years with all but four suspended.

Danielle Ward Photo courtesy of Knox County Sheriff’s Office

Justice Daniel Billings gave Ward lesser concurrent sentences for felony aggravated operating under the influence, felony driving to endanger, and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

More than 10 family members of the victims spoke at the sentencing hearing, Baroody said. One of Ward’s daughters spoke on her mother’s behalf.

Ward had pleaded guilty in March with the agreement that she would serve no more than 10 years in prison. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison.

The crash occurred Jan. 21, 2017, on Route 1 just north of the Taste of Maine Restaurant.

The crash killed 70-year-old Robert S. Martin and his 76-year-old wife, Carolyn W. Martin, both of Woolwich. Robert Martin died at the scene and Carolyn Martin died en route to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston via LifeFlight helicopter.

Robert Martin was driving south on Route 1 when Ward’s vehicle veered into the oncoming lane, the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office reported.

All seven people in Ward’s vehicle were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. The children ranged in age from 5 to 12, and two of them were Ward’s.

A 5-year-old suffered a broken back, an 11-year-old had internal bleeding, a 12-year-old complained of abdominal pain, a 10-year-old had head trauma, a 7-year-old had an abdominal injury, and a 9-year-old had a fractured knee, according to an affidavit filed in court by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy’s inspection of the scene of the crash found no tire marks from Ward’s vehicle prior to the crash. He could not determine if there were tire marks from the Martins’ vehicle.

A paramedic told police Ward had mentioned to him that she might have hit black ice prior to the crash, but there was no evidence of black ice, and the temperature was about 40 degrees, according to the affidavit. The crash occurred shortly after 6 p.m.

Ward’s driving record showed 13 convictions and six crashes in the past 11 years. Those convictions included two for operating under the influence – in 2013 and 2008, according to the affidavit. The most recent crash was Aug. 24, 2016, in Thomaston, in which there were no injuries, according to the affidavit.

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