Michael Gagnon sentenced to 43 years in prison

Michael Gagnon of Adrian, Mich., learned his fate on Friday.
Michael Gagnon of Adrian, Mich., learned his fate on Friday.
Danny Griffin.
Danny Griffin.
Family expresses their loss through pictures and memories.
Family expresses their loss through pictures and memories.
"This was the necklace my wife, Bethany, was wearing, a cross, and these are our wedding rings," says Griffin.
"This was the necklace my wife, Bethany, was wearing, a cross, and these are our wedding rings," says Griffin.

Reported b Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by Nick Duttn - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) -- Michael Gagnon, who drove the wrong way down I-28, killing five people, will spend the next 43 years in prison. A judge sentenced the 24-year-old, Friday morning.

News 11's Lisa Rantala reported from the Lucas County Courthouse.

After the sentence came down, all you could hear was whaling in the back of the courtroom. But just before the sentencing, we heard from Michael Gagnon and one of the victims for the first time.

The Gagnon family also cries out, showing that they've lost, too.

Danny Griffin talks about the night of December 30th, when he lost his wife Bethany, daughters Jordan and eight-week-old Vadi, and step-daughters Haley and Lacie.

"They always say things heal with time, we're going to be thinking about this forever."

"I immediately jerked the wheel to the left, and that was it. The next thing I know, I was opening up to the van to my vehicle and I immediately saw my wife lying in the middle of the road," says Danny Griffin.

The family was heading home to Maryland when they were struck head on by Michael Gagnon.

"Never will I be able to undo the damage that I have done and I am deeply sorry," says Michael Gagnon.

Gagnon smoked a significant amount of pot and drank eight straight hours that day. Then, he drove the wrong way for five miles up until the deadly crash.

"I've seen my daughter, Sydney, searching for her sister, Jordon, wondering when she will return," says Griffin.

Griffin's family is expressing their loss through pictures and memories.

They say they know Gagnon feels remorse.

"I'm sure, just like the rest of us, he'd love to have a do-over. Unfortunately in life, that's not possible," says Griffin.

But Danny says he's not ready to forgive. And now, the judge has put Gagnon in prison until he's 67 years old.