Exclusive: Heartbroken Father Recalls Hearing That Wife, Daughters Had Been Killed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens woman was sentenced Thursday for a deadly crash that killed a mother and her two daughters.

Before the judge ruled on her punishment heartbroken family members spoke of their grief.

A deadly collision in Bayside, Queens in July of 2015 left behind two mangled cars and claimed the lives of 42-year-old Susanna Ha and her daughters 10-year-old Angelica and 8-year-old Michelle.

On Thursday, the girls’ devastated father spoke.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer explained in an exclusive report, Ha was in Sweden where the family lived when he received a message from his brother-in-law that there had been an accident.

Not knowing the severity of the situation he searched his wife’s name on the internet.

“The first thing, information that my wife and oldest daughter passed away,” he said, “I must have read it for hours.”

Days later his other daughter would also pass away.

“At that moment my heart died. There was nothing left,” he said.

Last month, 48-year-old Deborah Burns, the driver of the SUV, was convicted on manslaughter and assault.

According to trial testimony, it was found that Burns crossed the double yellow line, veering into oncoming traffic and was driving more than 60 miles per hour in a 15 mile per hour zone when she struck the other car driven by Susanna’s parents.

Susanna’s parents who were sitting in the front seat were also critically injured.

Her brother, who did not want to show his face, also spoke in court.

“In one single night, I was told that everyone in my family was either killed or critically injured,” he said.

Burns apologized and said she didn’t remember what happened during the accident.

“I have been in mourning and have such remorse for the family and victims, and I’m truly apologetic,” she said.

The judge had harsh words for her.

“This victim’s family, they’re gone. The husband can’t see his children, cannot see his wife, the suffering is not comparable,” he said.

Burns was led away in handcuffs, she was sentenced to 12 to 22 years in prison.

After moving to Sweden, Susanna Ha and her daughters were visiting family in New York Cit for the summer.

 

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