Vernon woman sentenced in death of 4-year-old son

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A Vernon woman has been sentenced in a case stemming from a 2019 vehicle crash that resulted in the death of her 4-year-old son.  

26-year-old Terri Ruth Sheffield of Vernon pled no contest and was sentenced to prison for 10 years each on the charges of DUI homicide/vehicular manslaughter death of a human and vehicular homicide. She was also sentenced to serve 5 years on the charge of child neglect with great bodily harm; however, all three sentences will be served concurrently. Sheffield also has a lifetime suspension of her driver’s license and $2,463 in court costs and fines.  

The accident occurred August 14, 2019, at Highway 79 and Cook Circle in Vernon. According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Sheffield was driving a F-250 truck southbound on Highway 79 when she lost control of the vehicle. The truck then struck a dirt embankment, causing it to overturn onto its right side and partially ejecting the 4-year-old boy. The child died on the scene as a result of injuries he sustained when the vehicle landed on top of him. Sheffield suffered minor injuries. Her 2-year-old daughter, who was also a passenger during the time of the crash, was reported as having no injuries. 

FHP reports neither child was properly restrained. 

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