It happened early morning on August 12, 2014.
Jessica Pyles, 36, of Hahira, Ga. and a nurse at Madison County Memorial Hospital, was traveling southbound on Hwy 145 near NE Daisy St. around 6:20 a.m.
Richard Kyle Cruce, 52, of Madison, was traveling northbound while intoxicated beyond the legal limit.
Due to his intoxication, Cruce’s vehicle traveled left of the centerline and into the path of Pyles’ 2009 Toyota SUV.
It was a head-on collision as the left front of Cruce’s 2006 Toyota pickup slammed into the left front of Pyles’ vehicle.
After impact, Cruce rotated counter clockwise onto the east shoulder of SR 154 and came to a final rest facing southwest.
Cruce was later transported to MCMH with injuries, but the tragedy of the morning was when Pyles was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 6:48 a.m..
Months later, on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6:09 a.m., an arrest warrant was issued for Cruce by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office under the charges of Diving Under the Influence (DUI) Manslaughter.
Last week, on Wednesday, March 9, Cruce was put to trial and pronounced guilty of DUI Manslaughter.
In Florida, the approximate prison sentence for traffic deaths caused by a drunk driver is 15 years.
Cruce’s sentence is still pending in the courts but will likely be announced within the next 30 days.