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Woman Sentenced in Bayside Crash That Killed Mother and Young Daughters

By Katie Honan | June 15, 2017 4:17pm

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison after she was convicted of manslaughter in a car crash that killed a mother and her two young daughters, according to the Queens District Attorney's office. 

Deborah C. Burns, of Jackson Heights, was speeding at approximately 60 mph northbound on 210th Street in Bayside, near a playground and a middle school, on July 1, 2015 when she crossed the double yellow lines and veered into oncoming traffic, the DA said. 

She struck a car being driven by 75-year-old Young Ju Ha, who was driving with his wife, Chung Ock Ha, 67, daughter, 42-year-old Susanna Ha, and granddaughters Angelica Ung, 10, and Michelle Ung, 8.

The speed of the collision forced the car to spin and slam into a tree, killing Susanna Ha and her daughters, who were in the back seat, the DA said. 

Young Ju Ha and Chung Ock Ha were also severely injured.

“This was a senseless tragedy that did not have to happen," DA Richard Brown said in a statement. 

"The defendant caused a horrific crash that took the lives of a mother and her two young children. A vehicle is not a toy and should be driven with the greatest of care at all times."

Burns was sentenced to five to 15 years for the manslaughter charges, and an additional seven years on the assault charge, the DA said.

When reached by phone, her lawyer, Jerald Levine, told DNAinfo New York, "It is what it is, I have nothing more to say."