BOONE COUNTY, K.Y. — A Rossburg, Ohio, man was sentenced to eight years in prison in Boone County, Kentucky, Wednesday.
Christopher Thornhill, 35, pleaded guilty in Boone County Circuit Court to multiple counts, including manslaughter, involving a crash on Interstate 71 near Verona, Kentucky, in January 2015.
By pleading guilty, Thornhill avoided a jury trial. He has been incarcerated in the Boone County Jail since June of last year.
On Jan. 29, 2015, Thornhill, driving a northbound tractor trailer, struck an unoccupied vehicle parked on the shoulder of the highway. His truck then crossed the median into oncoming southbound traffic, striking two more vehicles.
The driver of one of the vehicles, Mark Sevilla, 45, of Lexington, Kentucky, was killed in the crash. Another driver, Sandra Edwards, 64, of Cincinnati, suffered life-threatening injuries but survived.
Boone County investigators determined that Thornhill had been texting while driving. Further charges against Thornhill included tampering with evidence and falsifying logbooks.
According to a report by WLWT News 5, Sevilla’s relatives addressed the court during the sentencing.
Kathy Streck, Sevilla’s sister, told WLWT, “It’s been horrible. You know, my sister and I, he was our only brother. My nieces and nephew, you know, my husband, everybody — it’s been horrible.”
With time already served, Thornhill could be eligible for parole as early as December 2016.