NewsCovering Kern County


Man sentenced to decades for deadly 2014 DUI crash

Families share emotional remarks in courtroom
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 14:35:26-05

New information transpired Wednesday surrounding a 2014 DUI crash that killed two women and left another seriously injured.

The driver Dontrell Collins was sentenced in court today, many friends and family members shared victim impact statements.
The original crash took place on August 30, 2014 on Rosedale Highway and Verdugo Lane where the three women were headed home from a Bakersfield Blaze game. 33 year old driver Collins was on PCP and driving 90 mile per hour when he slammed into the back of the women’s car, causing it to explode.

Jaclyn Kvasnicka ,30, Claire Pavinder, 25, were both unable to escape the burning vehicle, but their friend Jessica Magee made it out alive. ”Even though their deaths were tragic they were wonderful caring and thoughtful friends," Magee said before the Kern County Superior Courthouse judge.

 The victim's families also shared remarks in front of the court as they relived that night on Rosedale Highway."You hear your daughter screaming and screaming trying and begging and pleading for someone to help her escape a burning inferno," Jaclyn Kvasnicka’s mother Mary Jo said while crying.

Her statements seemed to put Collins in dismay, as he started crying in front of the court as well.

Deputy District Attorney Jim Simpson said Collins knew what he was doing when he took Kvasnicka's life and one other. “This case was entirely about the choices that Mr. Collins made, the aftermath and the deaths of those individuals was the result of the choices made by a human being.”

The mother of the other victim, Claire Pavinder also shared an emotional testimony before the courtroom, “My daughter Pavinder was my only daughter I miss her so much." 

After nearly three years Magee and the victims family member finally walked away with a sense of closure after listening to Collins sentencing. “30 years to life, plus 30 years to life plus a determinant term of 13 years 4 months," said Kern County Superior Court Judge John Lua.

"He belongs away from others so that he doesn't’t hurt anyone else," Magee concluded.

Collins has to serve 73 years in the California Department of Corrections before he is eligible for parole and he is also responsible for paying restitution to the victims’ families.