Mom who gave teens beer before fatal crash sentenced to house arrest, probation

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DELMONT, Pa. —

A mother who pleaded guilty to giving alcohol to two of three teenagers who later died in a crash in Delmont was sentenced on Thursday.

Susan Sanders-Watts was sentenced to one year of house arrest, three years of probation and $17,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, Sanders-Watt bought a half keg of beer for her 17-year-old son's graduation party in June 2010.

Michael Simpson, 19; Jordan Cobb, 19; and Carly Kudray all attended the party, police said.

Investigators said Simpson and Cobb were drinking and were later killed along with Kudray, in a crash along Church Road after leaving the party.

Cobb’s mother, Mollie Cobb, said the sentencing doesn’t give her any sense of closure.

“She has to live with herself, but no matter what sentence was given to her today, it doesn’t bring our children back. It doesn’t comfort us in any way. It still doesn’t give us any closure,” Cobb said.

The Westmoreland County coroner's office released the toxicology results after the crash, stating that Simpson, who was driving, had a blood alcohol content of 0.147 percent. Cobb had a 0.127 percent blood alcohol level and also tested positive for marijuana, officials said.

The coroner said Kudray had no drugs or alcohol in her system.

A fourth passenger, Chad Vandergraft, was thrown from the car, but survived.

The criminal complaint said that 16 people under 21 years old attended the party.

Cobb said she wanted a harsh sentence for Sanders-Watts hoping it would send a message to parents this graduation season.

“You know if they see probation, well that’s not so bad,” Cobb said. “If they see she got out of her seat and went to jail, even if it was for a few months, that might get their attention.”

Cobb said she is disappointed with the sentence, but will continue to speak out so other mothers won’t have to bury children.

“Everyone thinks this happens to someone else, but that’s what I thought two years ago,” Cobb said. “It’s reality that these three beautiful kids are gone forever.”

Sanders-Watts told the judge she was sorry and that she tried to control the drinking at the party, but couldn’t