Woman sentenced to 30 years in DUI crash that killed 2 sons

Other parents urged Tonya Capallia-Eason not to drive before fatal crash

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter, Ashley Harding - Reporter

YULEE, Fla. - A Nassau County woman who pleaded guilty last month to driving drunk when she ran her SUV into a utility pole, killing her two children, was given the maximum sentence on Thursday: 30 years in prison.

Investigators said Tonya Capallia-Eason's blood alcohol level was almost double the legal limit when she drove eight children home from a party on Oct. 22, 2016.  Nicholai, 9, and 8-year-old Nehemiah were killed in a crash. Six other children, including the brothers' younger sister, were injured.

Andrew Bird, the father of the two boys who died, took the stand and asked the judge for the maximum sentence. Bird now lives in Michigan.

"Nothing is going to change what happened, but the 30 years is the best we could have hoped for," Bird said. "The only justice will ever come from a higher power."

Nick Capallia and Nehemiah Capallia-Bird

A daughter of Bird and Capallia-Eason, who was one of the children hurt in the crash, is now living in Michigan with her father and learning to live without her brothers. 

Joshua Eason also took the stand Thursday asking for the maximum sentence. His daughter too was injured in the crash.

"I'm glad we can put some of this to rest and move on with our lives, and our children's lives," Eason said.

As a condition of her sentence, Capallia-Eason will never be able to get a driver's license again.

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