A Maryland woman pleaded guilty to six counts of motor vehicular manslaughter Friday in connection with a fatal crash that killed her six passengers — including five children.
Prosecutors said Dominique Taylor, 33, was intoxicated when she crashed her SUV into a tree in the predawn hours of Feb. 2 in Bowie. Five children — London Dixon, 8, Paris Dixon, Rickelle Ricks, 6, Zion Beard, 14, and Damari Herald, 15 — died as a result of the crash.
London and Paris were Taylor’s children.
Cornell Simon, 23, died as a result of his injuries on Feb. 18.
Taylor’s blood level alcohol level was .16 — at least twice the legal limit of .08, prosecutors said.
“It is heartbreaking even from her perspective of being a mother who has now pleaded guilty to killing her two children, three cousins and a friend due to her bad choices of getting on the road impaired,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy tells PEOPLE. “We were satisfied she pleaded and accepted responsibility. It is just a sad situation — so much loss and so much devastation. It is heartbreaking on every level.”
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Braveboy says Taylor and Simon, who was a passenger in the front seat, had their seat belts on but the five children in the backseat did not.
“They were already unsafe on the roadway with having five children in the backseat meant for three,” she says.
In a similar case last week, Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Jared McCarthy sentenced 28-year-old Thomas Hawks to 22 years in prison for killing three children and severely injuring their parents.
Braveboy says Prince George’s County has seen an increase in vehicle fatalities this year, and her office has launched a campaign to educate the public on importance of making smart decisions behind the wheel.
“Driver safety is very important to our office,” she says. “Our job is to hold at-fault drivers accountable.”
Taylor will be sentenced on January 13.