Woman receives four year sentence for fatal crash - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Woman receives four year sentence for fatal crash

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DULUTH, MN -

A Superior woman will serve prison time as the driver in a fatal crash that killed a Duluth woman on London Road this past April.

Thursday a judge handed down a four year sentence to 49-year-old Theresa Katzmark  in the death of Donna Estrem.

Two thirds of that  she'll spend in prison the last third she'll spend on intensive release. 

During today's proceedings Judge Shaun Floerke said in this case there were no winners. He said it's a case of a mother killing a mother and a caregiver killing a caregiver.

Even the prosecution said these aren't the typical people you find involved in a criminal case. 
Katzmark was a trauma nurse and Estrem worked at Ecumen Lakeshore. In court they explained Estrem was working late that day when Katzmark drove her car onto the grass. After Estrem approached the car to ask if Katzmark was okay, she lurched the car forward pinning Estrem to an electrical box. Katzmark later confessed she was under the influence of ambien.

Almost four months later it's still emotional for both families.

Katzmark's mother spoke on behalf of the grief and guilt her daughter has gone through since the incident.

Estrem's son Enrique Giner shared his love for his mother and showed the court the smashed cell phone in her back pocket she had at the time of the crash.

He later shared that phone with us after the proceedings.

Vickie Milinkovich calls herself Estrem's fellow grandmother as she's the maternal grandmother to Estrem's grandchildren. She shared a victim impact statement at the sentencing explaining her distress about the entire case, but in the end she said the judge's ruling was fair.

"I'm grateful to him for doing this but God bless him because that must have been the hardest thing for him to do," she said.

Katzmark also spoke in court and expressed her remorse for the crash and apologized to Estrem's family.

The judge explained this decision was very hard for him as Estrem's family deserved some justice but Katzmark had been serving the community for twenty years as a nurse.

Judge Floerke said he decided on prison time is because he said while nothing can make up for the harm that this crash had on Estrem's family and the community, some time in prison provides some semblance of balance.

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