An Aurora man with two previous convictions related to drinking and driving has been sentenced to nine years in prison for driving drunk and killing the young woman who was his passenger.
Dennis Flowers, 56, pleaded guilty in August to one count of vehicular homicide DUI in the 2017 death of Kyana Ingram, who was 22.
Last week, Arapahoe District Judge Patricia Herron sentenced Flowers to nine years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the maximum sentence allowed under the terms of his plea agreement.
“Another drunk driver, another dead member of our community. One of the most preventable crimes and deadly outcomes in society continues to be perpetrated repeatedly by the selfish and irresponsible. We are weary of the excuse that such repeat drunk drivers are in need of more treatment. They are in need of more personal responsibility and less liberty,” said District Attorney George Brauchler.
“I call upon the legislature to finally stiffen the penalties for repeat and recalcitrant impaired drivers who put our families and neighbors at risk. We will continue to prosecute these cases, send drunk drivers to prison, and send the message that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
On Aug. 15, 2017, Flowers was driving his 1999 Ford Expedition SUV about 2 a.m. near the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and I-225 in Aurora. Flowers had picked up Ingram when she got off work from her job at The Children’s Hospital. Witnesses reported they had seen the SUV speeding and driving erratically. Flowers was driving on Mississippi when he crossed the median, jumped the curb and hit a light pole, then a tree.
Ingram was ejected and had fatal injuries. Flowers was not injured.
Medical personnel at the scene suspected Flowers was intoxicated. Tests determined his BAC was above 0.2 at the time of the crash.
Flowers had two previous convictions for driving while ability impaired.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Mauro was prosecutor on the case.
“If your drunk driving kills someone, you should go to prison. This defendant was given opportunities at rehabilitation in both of his prior drunk driving cases. He failed to take advantage of those opportunities, continued drinking, continued driving under the influence, and finally proved the lethality of that conduct,” Mauro said. “The defendant’s reckless and selfish choices extinguished the life of a young woman who should have had decades more with loved ones and friends. It was a completely preventable tragedy.”