Drunk driver who killed 4 gets 8 years

Drunk driver who killed 4 gets 8 years »Play Video
Matthew McDonald cries during his sentencing hearing in Snohomish County Superior Court on Tuesday, March 16, 2010.
EVERETT, Wash. - A man who killed four people while driving drunk near Marysville last November wiped away tears as a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison Tuesday.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Matthew C. McDonald drank eight beers before his SUV crashed into a sedan on Nov. 29, killing two couples from Clearview.

The crash killed Brad Agerup, 54, a teacher at Mariner High School; his wife, Melissa Agerup, 48, who worked at The Everett Clinic; Hilda Woods, 62, a retired administrator with the Lake Washington School District and her husband, Tom Woods, 57, who sold electrical components.

Family members say the Woods simply went to dinner with their friends, the Agerups. The four met to plan a birthday party, but as the Agerups and the Woods headed home, so did McDonald.

"The last thing I remember was they said they'd be home by seven and they never came home," said Kaitlyn Agerup. "I'll never see my parents again."

McDonald ran a red light and collided with the car carrying both couples. All four were killed.

But family members didn't show vengeance in court. They asked McDonald to think about his decision in prison and then spend the rest of his life teaching others not to drink and drive.

"Thanks to you my whole life has been upside down," Kaitlyn Agerup said.

"Now that you've taken so much from all of us, I just want my life the way it was before that tragic day," said Michelle Rutheford.

A judge said McDonald's eight-year sentence was appropriate because McDonald had no criminal history and accepted responsibility.

McDonald walked to the front of the courtroom and turned to face the people he's hurt.

"Know that I am truly sorry for all the harm that I've caused," McDonald said. "There are no words that I can express that capture how horrible I feel and the pain that I have caused each and every one of you here today."

McDonald agreed to do what the victims' family members asked, and visit schools to talk about the dangers of drunk driving.