Driver who killed girl during diabetic episode gets four years - Tucson News Now

Driver who killed girl during diabetic episode gets four years in prison

David Herman, in court Thursday David Herman, in court Thursday
Kylie Hornych Kylie Hornych
April 2013, file image April 2013, file image

The local driver who killed an 11-year-old girl during a diabetic episode will spend four years in prison.

Kylie Hornych was killed April 4, 2013, when David Herman's car careened off of the road in an Aloha neighborhood and crashed into her family's house.

Prosecutors say normally, it's unusual to make someone criminally liable for a crash when they're dealing with a medical condition. However , in this case, they believe Herman was clearly reckless and mismanaged his healthcare.

"The frustrating thing for her family and the community is that this crash was completely avoidable, if the defendant only did what the doctor advised him too," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Bracken McKey.

"He made the decision to drive, and he made a decision that cost Kylie her life."

The family of Kylie Hornych filled the courtroom as the judge handed down the sentence. The group was holding photos of the 11-year-old and wearing green and purple, Kylie's favorite colors.

"I am in emotional prison," said Kylie's mother Kellie Hornych. "I hear her screams in my head, I worry what she saw that day and if she knew she didn't have time to avoid his car. I remember her screaming, I remember yelling to call 911, I remember it all. It's been 343 days since we've seen her, and today only closes one page in a lifelong book of grief."

Deputies say that Herman was having a diabetic episode at the time of the crash.

Her family says Kylie was getting ready to go to a science fair when Herman's car plowed through their yard and ran her down.

Herman, who worked at Liberty High School as a science teacher, claimed he was diligent about testing his blood sugar levels and taking his medications.

But, after further investigation, prosecutors found out he had a clear history of not controlling his diabetes.

"We found out days after this crash, the defendant went to his doctor with a head injury after he passed out because he was mis-managing his diabetes. Days later he passed out again at the Spirit Mountain Casino," said McKey.

McKey said Herman also lied to deputies about his driving history, including a 2007 crash where Herman hit a tree, narrowly avoided a jogger and totaled his car.  McKey said that was caused by another diabetic episode.

"He was a loaded gun not treating himself, a loaded gun, that's why I consider him a murderer," said Daniel Hornych, Kylie's father. "He put every kid at risk, every time he drove for the last ten years."

"Life stopped the day I lost my angel Kylie. I am shocked, torn and tattered and will never ever be whole again without her," he added.

Herman listened as Kylie's family spoke about the hurt he's caused and then stood up in front of them, and apologized through tears.

"I don't expect forgiveness from Kylie's family for the death of their daughter. The loss of a child preceding his, or her parents, is a difficult thing," Herman said. "I can recall when my own brother died in a wreck at 21, and my poor parents were beside themselves with grief. What I can offer is my sincerest apology for the death of their daughter."

Herman accepted a plea deal in the case. Part of the agreement is the permanent revocation of his driver's license and post-prison supervision for three years.

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