Matthew Notebaert has been charged with five years in prison for a car crash—stemming from being drunk and having sex while driving—in 2014. The wreck killed his wife Amanda. Palm Beach County judge Laura Johnson called it one of "the most senseless, tragic acts" she's ever seen, per the Palm Beach Post.
“I miss her more than words can express,” the 33-year-old father of two said of his late wife. He explained that the crash began as a day of celebration. It was the first time his wife was out since the birth of their daughter. The couple went to a concert and drank Crown Royal from a flash that they had snuck in. As they headed to their Loxahatchee home, they pulled over to have sex. Notebaert says that his wife was sitting in his lap and the next thing he remembers is turning the wheel and waking up in a wreck.
Investigators say he was driving 55 miles per hour (in a 30 mile per hour zone) and ignored signs warning of a canal ahead. The car hit the canal and went airborne for 30 feet, per the arrest report, and Amanda hit her head on the dashboard and windshield.Per a toxicology report, Matthew Notebaert’s blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal level Florida considers impaired. Investigators added that he had marijuana in his system as well. Amanda died at the scene.
During sentencing, the judge noted Matthew Notebaert’s criminal history, which includes accusations of reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash as well as five felonies and charges for cocaine possession, burglary and grand theft. “This isn’t your first chance. You’ve been to jail before, you’ve been on probation,” she said. “You failed your wife, you failed your children and you failed all your family that is here today.”