A Colorado Springs man was sentenced to 18 years in prison last week for the death of his 4-year-old son in a drunken-driving crash earlier this year, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday in a news release.
Christopher Small, 31, pleaded guilty in October to vehicular homicide DUI in a February one-vehicle crash in which his son Lucca died. His plea agreement called for a sentencing range of 12 to 20 years, the release said.
“My baby did not die: He was killed,” Lucca’s mother, Ashley Whittemore, told the court in a victim impact statement during sentencing. Lucca “laid in the snow with a broken neck, a swollen brain and a stopped heart.”
Small drank two shots of Fireball whiskey and other alcohol after finishing work in Limon on Feb. 20, the DA’s Office wrote. He picked up his son, Lucca, from a day care in Woodland Park and “for some reason” was driving on Colorado 67 to pick up his daughter at a Woodland Park school. He lost control of his car on a curve while driving 75 mph in a 50 mph zone.
Lucca was in a car seat in the back.
Small’s blood alcohol content was 0.098 four hours after the crash. He would have tested at a minimum of 0.19 at the time of the wreck, the DA’s Office said.
He also tested positive for THC, the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
“To this court, what is most devastating is … he made a decision to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car and consciously made a decision to alter previously set plans and go and pick up his children,” Douglas County District Judge Shay Whittaker said. “What is even more horrifying is that it could have been worse — he was on his way to pick up” his daughter.
Small also was arrested on a DUI charge in November while he was out on bond, the DA Office’s release said. A judge called for the maximum sentence in a sentencing argument.
“A father is a provider and a protector. This defendant was the exact opposite of that on Feb. 20,” Deputy District Attorney Dan Warhola said. “Killing his own son wasn’t enough to stop him.”
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