New Kensington woman gets up to 10 years in prison for fatal Penn Hills accident

| Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 12:36 p.m.

An Allegheny County judge on Monday sentenced a New Kensington woman to five to 10 years in prison for killing a Penn Hills woman in a head-on crash.

Judge Joseph K. Williams also sentenced Kayla Dawn Hoffman, 29, to 15 years of probation with weekly drug testing.

Hoffman pleaded guilty to third- degree murder, homicide by vehicle while under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the Feb. 18 death of Kayla Johnson-Ukeyne, 25.

Johnson-Ukeyne's family and friends cried in the courtroom as her aunt Gina Marshman read a statement describing how the “jovial” woman has and will be missed.

“There is a piece of my heart broken, and I struggle every day to hold back tears,” Marshman said.

Prosecutors said Hoffman was fleeing from police when the Ford Explorer she was driving passed a pickup truck at the crest of a hill on Verona Road in Penn Hills and crashed into Johnson-Ukeyne's car. Police said Hoffman had heroin and cocaine in her system and in her possession at the time of the crash.

Hoffman was hospitalized for a week and has been in the county jail since then.

Marshman turned to Hoffman during the sentencing hearing and told her she felt sad for her.

“Do I hate you? No. I don't hate you. I'm sad for you that you don't value your life enough, that you don't want to change it,” she said.

Family members said Johnson-Ukeyne was a home health aide training to become a veterinary technician.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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