COVINGTON—Daniel Coy, 26, of Gulfport, received the maximum sentence of five years in prison Monday (June 20) for negligent homicide for causing a crash last year that killed the driver of an 18-wheeler over the Middle Pearl River near Slidell. District Judge Ad Hoc Donald Fendlason also sentenced Coy to the maximum10 years in prison on a hit-and-run charge but suspended five of the years.
The sentences are to run concurrently, and Coy was ordered to serve probation during the five years that were suspended. Coy pleaded guilty last month to the charges, which also included a misdemeanor, reckless operation of a vehicle. He was given credit for time served on that charge. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian prosecuted the case.
Coy was driving a dark blue pickup truck on Nov. 3 last year, when he used the right shoulder to pass two 18-wheeler trucks that occupied the left and right lanes. The shoulder narrowed as Coy attempted to pass, and he struck the guard rail, which caused him to swerve suddenly into the right lane. He slammed into an 18-wheeler with force, pushing it to the left lane and into the 18-wheeler driven by Steven Shawn Clark, 26, of Alabama. Clark’s vehicle then went over the guard rail, hit the water, and sank. Rescue divers had to be called in to help locate the truck and Clark’s body.
Coy fled the scene, but Louisiana State Police officers were able to track him down with information from witnesses.
Several members of Clark’s family gave a victim impact statement before Coy was sentenced.