EVERGREEN, Colo. — The man behind the wheel of a car going too fast down an Evergreen road is now sentenced to time in prison for killing a 16-year-old girl. It all happened in January of 2019.
Daltyn Hollon entered a guilty plea for vehicular homicide and was formally sentenced on Thursday.
There is now a sign on the side of Evergreen Parkway that reads in “In Loving Memory of Rachel K. Hern”.
The words on the plaque don’t really show the pain the family is feeling.
“She did a lot of positive things,” Reann Hern, Rachel’s mom said.
Rachel’s sister Caitlin Hern said, “And fought for those in her life.”
Rachel was a backseat passenger when the car she was riding in went more than 20 miles over the speed limit and lost control. It then crashed into a median. Rachel was not wearing a seatbelt.
“Your honor there isn’t a moment I don’t wish I made better choices,” Daltyn Hollon said as he addressed the court during sentencing. “The world needs more people like Caitlin and I’m so sorry”
Rachel’s family also taking the podium at sentencing to layout their grief and pain.
“We’re here because of a selfish deliberate act, an act that’s changed so many lives,” Ron Hern, Rachel’s father said.
“Planning a funeral is not what any parents wants to have to do for their child your children are supposed to outlive you,” Reann Hern said.
Not a dry eye in the courtroom on either side when Rachel’s mom shared her sorrow.
“Mr Hollon, in a lot of ways you and your side of the courtroom are asking me to impose mercy in this case and when someone gets in your car they are at your mercy,” the judge said. “In this case the passengers in your car told you do slow down just before the accident and you ignored and because of that I do find a department of corrections sentence to be appropriate.”
The judge listed out all the factor in this case including Hollon’s five previous driving infractions, the death of a young life, and the actions of the passengers right before Hollon crashed.
“I’m hoping now that I can finally start relaxing and maybe grieving a little bit,” Reann Hern said.
Rachel’s mom encourages all teenagers to think twice when getting behind the wheel, drive carefully, and make sure everyone in the car is buckled up.