Leticia Gonzales, who pleaded no contest to one count of operating while intoxicated causing injury, has been sentenced for a fatal crash that took the lives of her three sons in February 2022. The tragic incident took place in Holland Township.
On Monday, the court sentenced Gonzales to a 2 to 5-year prison term. Concurrently, she will serve a year for a moving violation that resulted in death. A previous plea agreement related to a count of operating while intoxicated causing death was withdrawn after the court declined to honor it.
An emotional Gonzales expressed deep remorse during the hearing, grappling with survivor’s guilt since the day of the crash. “If I could give my life and change places, I swear I would,” she stated tearfully. Addressing the court, she expressed her profound grief and sought forgiveness while acknowledging her readiness to bear responsibility for her actions. “Life without them will never be the same… I hope the community and you can forgive me,” she implored.
However, Judge Jon Hulsing emphasized that Gonzales’s substance use was not an isolated incident. “This seems to be a pattern and, unfortunately, your children paid the ultimate price,” he remarked.
The harrowing incident occurred on Feb. 17, 2022, when Gonzales’s SUV drifted across several lanes on James Street, eventually overturning into an icy pond. Trapped inside were 1-year-old Josiah Gonzales, 3-year-old Jeremiah Gonzales, and 4-year-old Jerome Gonzales. Despite rescue efforts, all three boys lost their lives. Gonzales sustained minor injuries.