Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Crash That Killed 5

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By WSIL Reporter

HAMILTON COUNTY -- A man is headed to prison for decades for a drunk driving crash in Hamilton County. Five people died after a car went out of control and rolled several times last November.

The driver, Darrell Delong, pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in the case last month.

Darrell Delong appeared somber in court Tuesday. His sentencing hearing marked one of the few times since his arrest that he's seen his twin daughters and other family and friends.

Emotions ran high since many of the five victims were relatives. Samuel Dorris was engaged to Diana Wright, one of the passengers killed in the wreck.
 
"It's going to effect everybody. Nothing will ever be the same, Christmas, Thanksgiving, nothing," he said. 
 
More than 60 people crammed inside the Hamilton County Courtroom, sitting shoulder to shoulder. Some wore shirts picturing Delong's wife and daughter, who were killed in the crash. Delong spoke Tuesday, apologizing and asking for mercy and a shorter sentence, so he could return home to his 11-year-old daughters.
 
"It made me break down. It's sad. He regrets everything that happened," explained Dorris.
 
The judge issued the maximum sentence 20 years. State's Attorney Justin Hood spoke with the family about the decision.
 
"They seem to be understanding about the sentence that it is what it is. Darell has been sentenced to a determinate amount of years and they feel safe knowing that the other two daughters he has will never get behind the wheel with him," said Hood.
 
New information about the crash also came out in court Tuesday.
 
Delong's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, and he was going nearly 90 miles an hour before the crash.
 
Also, all the other passengers except his 16-year-old daughter Katelynn had alcohol or some other substances in their system at the time of the accident.
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