Sacramento woman concerned over release of drunken driver who crashed into her, resulting in death of unborn child

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento mother is angry after learning the drunken driver who crashed into her killing her unborn baby will be released next month. 

He will be released after serving two years of his six-year sentence. 

“Very hard. Very, very hard. Literally, she’s the only thing that keeps me going right now,” said Ciara Villegas. 

Even with 6-month-old Aria on her arm, Villegas has a hard time moving forward after what happened near the intersection of M Street and Fourth Avenue two years ago. Back in April 2019, Ronny Ward crashed his Jeep into Villega’s car. She was six months pregnant with her son RJ at the time. 

Villegas prematurely gave birth to her son two days after the crash. He did not survive. 

“I have had multiple miscarriages right before that,” Villegas said. 

It’s been more than two years but the family says the tire marks are still present from that day, serving as a constant reminder of what happened. 

“It’s too hard. It’s even hard to go see my son’s grave, still,” Villegas said. 

Ward was convicted of felony DUI. The California Highway Patrol said Ward’s blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash. He was sentenced to six years in prison. 

“I wanted life. I wanted life. I felt like he deserved life,” Villegas said. 

But after only serving two of those years, FOX40 learned Ward will be released next month. 

Rhonda Campbell with Mothers Against Drunk Driving is urging lawmakers to make a change. 

“These higher-ups that are making these laws, all the way to the governor, needs to look at these people in the eye and ask them what their life is like,” Campbell said. 

Sacramento County’s district attorney sent a letter to the Department of Corrections urging them to deny Ward’s early release. 

In a statement to FOX40, a spokesperson for the department would only say he is serving his sentence in full as defined by California law. 

“He’s the one that sentenced us to the life sentence. He got off scot-free,” Villegas said. 

MAAD also plans to write letters to the Department of Corrections and the governor asking them to deny Ward’s early release. 

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