Cantonment Woman Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for DUI Manslaughter Case

October 25, 2016

Debra Marlene Ahearn of Cantonment was sentenced to 11 years in state prison followed by 4 years of probation for DUI Manslaughter for the 2015 fatal crash she caused that took the life of an Atmore, AL woman.

On December 18, 2015, Debra Ahearn was driving a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country van southbound on US 29 in the left turn lane. John Edward Ryland and his passenger, Barbara M. Ryland, was traveling northbound on US 29 in the left hand travel lane in a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe. A third vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, was driven by Dontavious Rashawn Anderson directly behind Ryland.

Debra Marlene Ahearn

Debra Marlene Ahearn

Ahearn attempted to cross the southbound lanes and pulled into the path of Ryland. The front end of Ryland’s Tahoe struck Ahearn’s van in the right front corner, an offset head on collision. Ryland’s Tahoe spun clockwise and the front of Anderson’s Cobalt struck Ryland’s vehicle on the passenger side.

Barbara M Ryland, the passenger in the Tahoe was flown by helicopter to Sacred heart Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

Debra Ahearn was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in critical condition as well as John Ryland. Dontavious Anderson was transported to West Florida Hospital for minor injuries.

An estimated $25,000.00 in damages was sustained to all three vehicles.

According to a new release from the State Attorney’s Office, Ahearn’s BAC was .291 which is well over 3 times the legal limit.

The investigation and arrest of Ahearn was conducted by the Florida Highway patrol. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Stephen Luongo.

The following pictures of the traffic crash is courtesy of

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