SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The woman charged in a deadly DUI crash nearly three years ago pleaded guilty Monday.
Cara Kenyon was convicted on one count of driving under the influence, death resulting, and will serve at least seven years behind bars.
Kenyon was driving down Middlebridge Road in March 2020 when she hit and killed 54-year-old Alan Albergaria, who was out for a walk.
The 33-year-old was visibly distraught as she asked Albergaria’s family for their forgiveness in court.
“I want you to know there’s not a single day that’s passed since that terrible night that I haven’t thought about your family,” Kenyon said through tears. “I know I need to take responsibility for my uncharacteristic decision that night.”
“I’m sorry for the role that I played and the choices I made that night,” she continued. “I realize I could never have the right words to formulate the immensity of the apology you deserve, but I hope you know how deeply regretful I am.”
Albergaria’s daughter, Cassandra Phillips, asked Kenyon to listen to her as she delivered her impact statement.
“From the moment I received the phone call that my dad had been killed, my world flooded with grief, fear and uncertainty,” Phillips said tearfully. “Part of me just wanted to pick up the phone and tell him what had happened.”
Watch: Albergaria’s family gives emotional statements in court (Story continues below.)
“I still get that feeling,” she continued. “I want to pick up the phone and call him, but then I have that earth-shattering realization that I’ll never speak to him again.”
Phillips described the fear she’s felt after losing her father as “crushing and debilitating.”
“He was the strongest man I know, and if he could be taken in such a violent and unexpected way, then anyone could,” she said. “It’s terrifying and real and it takes everything in my power to just keep going forward, because my dad was killed in an instant completely outside of our control.”
Phillips went on to list the milestones that her father has missed not only in her life, but the lives of his grandchildren.
“My heartache seems unending and incurable … it was completely preventable if you had just not driven that night,” Phillips told Kenyon. “If you hadn’t broken the law, he’d be here.”
“My hope for you is that from this moment on, you strive every day to make the world a better place, because from this day on, your sentence is a day shorter and you can be with your family,” she continued. “I hope that you can, even if just a fraction, fill that void that he left.”
Kenyon was sentenced to 15 years in prison with seven to serve, followed by eight years of probation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Phillips’ name.