LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Henryville mother will spend the next 15 years of her life behind bars.
Judge Vicki Carmichael sentenced Ericka Fouch Thursday to 18 years in jail with three years of a suspended sentence for her role in the train crash that killed her two children in June of 2017. Fouch will spend 15 years in jail - the suspended sentence ruling removes three years from the 18.
"Today there was justice for Wyatt and Adalynn," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.
Mull had asked the judge for a lengthy prison sentence for Fouch in the sentencing hearing.
Fouch's 4-year-old son, Wyatt, and 5-year-old daughter, Adalynn, were killed when a train hit the car their mother was driving along State Road 160 and Railroad Street in Henryville, despite warning signals and loud noises.
Following the crash, Fouch's blood test indicated that methamphetamine and THC were her system while she was driving to the hospital.
"She's heartbroken over what has happened and what her actions have caused," Fouch's Attorney Niles Driskell said.
Driskell stressed there are no winners in a case like this, when something tragic happens.
Fouch pled guilty to two counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle while under the influence in February. In exchange, the prosecutor dropped the two "neglect of a dependent resulting in death" charges.
Inside the courtroom on Thursday, Fouch cried as she told the judge she had extreme regret and remorse for causing the accident that claimed her two young children's lives.
"I live with that everyday," Fouch said. "I miss them dearly. I want to take responsibility for what happened."
Family came to support Fouch in the courtroom. Her husband spoke on her behalf, asking the judge not to give her jail time, saying "it's bad enough that we have to wake up every morning without our children."
In the hearing, Fouch admitted to starting using marijuana at 14-years-old. She later became addicted to prescription pain pills, she said in the hearing. The methamphetamine use was more recent and less frequent, she told the judge.
Fouch told the judge she had since entered grief counseling, drug counseling and treatment for her addiction.
Her attorney, Niles Driskell, said Fouch was prepared for the possibility of a jail sentence.
"And she does recognize what her actions have caused. And it's her sincere hope that as far as the justice system is concerned that this case can be concluded," Driskell said.
Driskell said she is trying to accept what happened and take responsibility for the actions that led to her children's deaths.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said this case is difficult because Fouch is grieving the loss of her children.
But, Mull said, the jail sentence will bring justice for Adalynn and Wyatt - and the lives they won't have because Fouch chose to do drugs and get behind the wheel last summer.
"These two little children were hit by a train and killed in a very violent way because of her actions, because of her intentional actions," Mull said. "And it's important to bring that back to that point because it's the whole reason we're here. Not because she's a drug addict, not because she's sorry, but because she killed her kids. And so I needed to hammer that point home to the judge, that's why we're here. And it doesn't matter what's in her best interest at this point, what matters is what is justice for these children and in this, it was a lengthy prison sentence."