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Missouri Man Gets 10 Years After Killing Moms, Teen Volleyball Players In Car Crash

A 31-year-old man who caused a deadly crash killing two mothers and their daughters on Valentine's Day was sentenced to serve 10 years. 

By Chambolion Fairley
Elijah Henderson Pd

A Missouri man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after he plead guilty to killing two women and their daughters in a car accident on Valentine’s Day in 2020.

Elijah Henderson, 31, entered a guilty plea to four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Henderson crashed into a vehicle killing Carrie McCaw, 44, and her daughter Kacey McCaw, 12, as well as Lesley Prather, 40, and her daughter Ryhan Prather, 12. The four had been heading from Louisville to a volleyball tournament in Kansas City on Feb. 14, 2020. 

St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar said in a press conference on Monday that Henderson was driving his work pickup truck eastbound on the interstate when he veered across a cable barrier into oncoming traffic, crashing into the van with the two mothers and their daughters. 

Henderson told investigators that he had lost control of his vehicle while reaching to manually roll up the passenger window, the Post-Dispatch reported.

According to Lohmar, while there was evidence of marijuana usage, the level of THC detected in Henderson'd blood could not prove that he was impaired while driving. Henderson had admitted to smoking marijuana the night before the crash.

A reconstructionist showed at trial that, while Henderson was driving, he had to bend down to adjust the window which obstructed his vision and caused him to inadvertently lose control of his vehicle, Lohmar explained in the press conference. 

“I think it was evident in the courtroom today, there were two families that were severely impacted by this: those of the people that lost their lives as well as Mr. Henderson's," said Lohmar. "And that’s a tragedy in cases like this.”

Lesley Prather, a mother of four, was a former volleyball player for the University of Louisville and served as a firefighter, reported People. According to People, the Lesley and Rhyan Prather Foundation was founded after their deaths to help families in need through community outreach. 

Carrie McCaw, also a mother to four, was a former volleyball player at Syracuse University where she was described as a “standout athlete,” reported CNN.

During Monday’s sentencing, Henderson expressed remorse to the victims’ families.

I would instantly give my life for theirs,” he said, reported by St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I hope you guys know this.”

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