A drunk driver will spend one year of his life behind bars for the life he took when his pickup crashed and killed high school senior Caitlin Talley last October.
The man, Cory Forrest Tate, 22, entered a guilty plea Wednesday before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to charges of vehicular homicide and DUI. He was ordered to serve 360 days of an eight-year sentence, perform 100 hours public service work, pay $1,000 plus court costs, make monetary restitution to the victim’s family, undergo a drug and alcohol assessment and lose his driver license for five years. The balance of his sentence will be spent on probation once he serves his jail time.
The fatal wreck happened in October when Tate lost control of his Chevy Z71 pickup near the Shellsford Road intersection with Spencer Highway. The truck hit several trees before flipping.
While none of the three occupants were wearing seatbelts, Tate and his younger brother, Dakota Tate, 20, were likely saved by deployment of their front-seat airbags. Talley was in the back seat and was ejected.
There was a delay in discovering the wreck as both the brothers were knocked unconscious at the scene and did not come to for an unknown period of time. When they regained consciousness, they couldn’t locate a cellphone in the wreckage and were disoriented due to their injuries and the darkness of the rural area.
It took nearly two hours for one of them to wander to a nearby home, get someone to answer the door late at night, and then find the wreckage. Talley was dead when they found their way back to the wreck site.