Woman sentenced in wrong-way crash on US-131

Posted at 9:27 PM, Mar 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-18 22:39:10-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A woman who caused a major wrong-way crash on US-131 this past summer has been sentenced to prison.

The crash happened on August 5, 2014, after the Crystal Rincones was involved in another crash. Prosecutors also said that drugs were involved.

Vickers Hansen said that he still has a hard time sleeping and is still recovering from the August crash, but said that he forgives the woman who caused him pain so he can heal as well.

"I wake up 45 minutes later laying on the freeway," said Hansen. "This event totally changed my life. My life the last eight months revolves around therapy. The pain has been insane, and I'm lucky."

Hansen said that he was bitter for months, especially since Rincones was involved in a property damage accident about eight hours prior. Rincones didn't have a license nor insurance.

"I'm just lucky all of the other people that were impacted put the fire out of my truck," said Hansen. "They had to cut me out of the car. It's just been hell."

Michigan State Police said that Rincones was traveling north in the southbound lanes.

"Everyone makes mistakes. She made a mistake," said Hansen. "The sad part is she has kids that will be affected."

Rincones admitted in court that she has a long history with substance abuse. However, her attorney claimed she had turned a new leaf, but just last month while awaiting sentencing, she slipped up again.

"Your client did test positive on a recent drug test, correct?" asked the Judge.

"That is correct on February 22, it appears," said Rincones' attorney.

Rincones was sentenced to two to five years behind bars for the crash and another year-and-a-half to seven years for a drug charge.

"I would like to apologize to Mr. Hansen. This is really hard for me as well," said Rincones. "I was still behind the wheel of that vehicle. For me to have to wake up out of a coma after a week, be connected to machines, and to know that I had done, what I had done to Mr. Hansen and to myself."

When Rincones is released from prison, she will have to pay $218,000 in restitution, but that total could be increased for pain and suffering to her victim.