Tanner Dashner sentenced to 72 years in prison for 2018 wreck that killed 5

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 3:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A Fort Pierce man was sentenced Tuesday to 72 years in prison for killing five young people and injuring a teenager in a fiery wreck nearly four years ago.

Tanner Dashner, 24, was charged with five counts of DUI manslaughter for the Nov. 23, 2018 wreck at South 25th Street and Midway Road.

In court Tuesday, Dashner read an apology letter to the families of the five victims: Kedan Tillett, 27, Anthony Victor, 21, Anthony Martin, 16, Darien Douglas, 21, and Alexis Chaney, 17.

"I never intended to hurt anyone in my life," Dashner said. "I regret the poor decisions I've made and am sorry to all the families that I have devastated because of this terrible accident."

As the victims' families looked on, fighting back tears, Dashner asked them for forgiveness, apologizing for the "emotional and physical trauma" he's caused.

"I'm sorry that you will never be able to tell your son 'I love you,' and hear him say it back. I'm sorry that you will never get to hug him ever again," Dashner said. "I hope that you will be able to heal from this and have a happy and successful life."

Crash investigators said Dashner, who was 21 at the time of the wreck, was driving drunk more than three times the speed limit at 97 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Dashner, behind the wheel of a GMC Yukon, slammed into the rear of a Dodge Dakota, causing it to burst into flames, killing the driver and four passengers.

A fifth passenger, Ari'yonnia Stanberry, was rescued from the vehicle and survived.

Bottles of Bacardi Superior Rum and Crown Royal Regal Apple Whiskey were found in Dashner's car, investigators said.

During closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutors, who were seeking a life sentence, played surveillance video of the fiery wreck to remind the court what the victims experienced.

The defense, however, described Dashner as a positive member of the community and reminded the court of his seizure diagnosis.

Scripps Only Content 2022