Tonya Capallia-Eason of Florida did a bad and foolish thing, robbing two young children of their lives. On the night of October 22, she attended a party Halloween party where she allegedly consumed two drinks, two shots and three or four pudding shots. Though a witness would later tell authorities that several people had attempted to dissuade Tonya from driving, she insisted. With a BAC of .148—nearly twice the legal limit to drive—she got behind the wheel of her SUV. But she wasn’t alone in the car; she also assumed the responsibility of ferrying seven children home as well.
Tonya missed a curve in the road, crashing into a utility pole on the opposite side of the street. The SUV flipped over, pinning her and the other passengers inside. The crash killed two of the children and injured the others. Tonya’s two sons—Nehemiah, 8, and Nicholai, 9—were died. Her daughter, 7-year-old Nina, was critically injured.
Tonya was not immediately arrested for unknown reasons, but was arrested and charged in the in the crime earlier this week. The delay may have something to do with allegations that Tonya had lied to arriving officers, telling them that she had been but a passenger to some other mystery driver, despite the fact that she was discovered trapped in the driver’s seat of the upturned SUV.
“In situations such as this, especially involving terrible tragedies like traffic homicides, all of our investigators want to get all of the information before they say the case is concluded,” FHP spokesman Sgt. Dylan Bryan said.
Andrew Bird, a firefighter living in Michigan, is the father of Nina, as well as the two boys who were killed. He has been granted sole custody of Nina, and his family put together a GoFundMe to cover the cost of Nina’s medical bills and the boys’ funeral.
It’s hard to imagine living with that kind of guilt, though the 8 to 30 years behind bars she’s facing may give her plenty of time to think about it.
Image: Nassau County’s Sheriff’s Office