Drunk driver kills two mothers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Franklin County, IL

Drunk driver kills two mothers

Drunk driver kills two mothers
By: Arnold Wyrick

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - The news of a deadly crash on Route 37 in Southern Illinois sent shock waves through two Franklin County families.

It was shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday when the two vehicles collided head on, ending 56-year-old Myrtle Holt's life.  Her husband, 65-year-old Terry Holt, is in critical condition in a Saint Louis hospital.  The driver of the pickup truck 34-year-old William Sprind is also in critical condition in Saint Louis.

Police say Sprind was driving under the influence of drugs and, or alcohol at the time of the crash. "Based on the fact that he was in the wrong lane at that time.  Also there were some unknown pills found in the vehicle, and that prompted the DUI," says Illinois State Police Trooper Les Vancil.

The collision shattered the lives of Myrtle's kids. "It's very hard for me, and my family.  It's very hard not to be able to say goodbye to her, or even talk to her.  The only thing I've got to survive on is the good memories that we did have, the fun times we shared together," says Patrick Overton as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

But the Holt family isn't the only ones who are suffering the loss of their mother.  The Bullock family knows all to well how they're feeling. "I was 15 years old and we were driving back out of Benton towards our home in Christopher, when I all I saw were lights coming at us," says Sherry Risley.

"Then it was kind of a shock you know I felt pain.  But I didn't know where my pain was, and I kept hollering for my mom.  And she never responded to me."

Franklin County court records show that William Sprind was 16-years-old at the time. He was driving the car that jumped the median on Highway 14, crashing into the Bullock's vehicle.  Joyce Bullock was killed instantly.  Sprind was charged with Reckless Homicide for driving drunk.

"I felt sick to my stomach when I heard that he had killed another innocent person.  I just hope that the justice system will do something now before somebody else is his victim," Risley said.

At the time of Sprind's sentencing in 1990, he was placed on probation, ordered to spend a summer of weekends in the Franklin County Jail and attend substance abuse counseling.

"It rips my heart  out because on January 29th of this year will be 18 years since he took the life of my mother.  I don't feel that what they done to him was enough for him to learn his lesson.  Obviously it wasn't.  Because now you've got another family that's suffering a loss from him," Risley said.

Sprind was arrested and charged with DUI, and Improper Lane Usage in connection to Tuesday's crash.  Police say more charges could be filed against Sprind in the days ahead, as their investigation and interviewing of witnesses and family members continue.

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