CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County judge says a man deliberately got high on THC and marijuana before crashing his car into another vehicle and caused the deaths of a mother and daughter.

Andrew Wyrick (WVRJA)

“This was an intentional act. You intentionally got high. You intentionally drove in a manner that cost the lives of two people,” Judge Maryclaire Akers said Tuesday before sentencing Andrew Wyrick, 26, to the maximum prison time.

Wyrick, of Culloden, received 3-15 years in prison for each of the two DUI causing death charges he pleaded guilty to in March.

The crash happened in Oct. 2022 along U.S. Route 60 west of St. Albans and claimed the lives of Dotty Lou Hayes, 73, and her daughter Sherri McClanahan, 53, both of Hurricane.

For the first time since the crash, Wyrick apologized to the family in court Tuesday.

“I am sorry for the tragedy that took place for my actions and my choices,” he said. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. I do know that if I never ended up smoking Delta 8 or even smoking weed that those lives could still be here today.”

John Hayes, the husband and father of the victims, addressed Wyrick directly to forgive him for what he did.

“I want to look him in the eye and forgive him for what he’s done, but I will not forget. He caused me a lot of problems,” Hayes said.

Hayes’ daughter Autumn Ortiz also testified, remotely, and said her mother and grandmother were resilient women who overcame several life-threatening illnesses.

“My grandmother survived two heart attacks, open heart surgery twice, breast cancer, bladder cancer, she survived all of those. My mother survived having meningitis. They survived so much, but they couldn’t survive you,” Ortiz told Wyrick.

Judge Akers ordered Wyrick’s sentences to be served consecutively.

“I cannot ignore that you cost the lives of two human beings. You demolished that family with your choices,” she said.

But Wyrick’s defense attorney Jeff Woods said the crash was not intentional.

“Did he intend to do it? Absolutely not,” Woods said.

While Woods claimed his client has been remorseful, Akers didn’t buy it.

“I still haven’t seen really seen a whole lot of emotion out of you. You say you’re sorry, but I don’t see that,” Akers said.

Two others were injured in the crash. Wyrick was also charged with two counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury, but prosecutors dropped those charges as part of his plea deal.