Michigan mom sentenced for DUI crash that killed her three sons

HOLLAND, MI – A woman from western Michigan was handed a prison sentence of up to five years on Monday, following a tragic incident where her three young sons drowned. The incident occurred when her SUV plunged into an ice-covered pond, according to reports.

Leticia Gonzales had been charged with operating under the influence, which resulted in serious injury. She also faced three misdemeanor charges related to a moving violation causing death. The sentencing came from an Ottawa County judge who ordered Gonzales to serve a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years. Gonzales expressed her remorse in court, stating that she has been grappling with survivor’s guilt since the tragic loss of her sons.

The incident occurred in February 2022, when Gonzales, driving her SUV, veered off a Holland Township road, jumped a curb, and rolled into an ice-covered retention pond. Her sons, Jerome III, 4, Jeremiah, 3, and Josiah, 1, were strapped into child-restraint seats and tragically drowned. Gonzales managed to escape with minor injuries.

Authorities allege that Gonzales was impaired by two doses of methadone, a medication used for drug addiction treatment and pain relief. She reportedly took the medication on the morning of the fatal crash. Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing noted that while Gonzales expressed remorse for her actions, this was not her first encounter with drug use.

Gonzales initially entered a no contest plea to the charges on April 13, but later withdrew it after a judge rejected a plea deal that would have seen her serve only a year in prison. The plea was ultimately accepted on August 28.