Michael Opsincs sentenced for causing fatal accident that killed 11-year-old Brianna Cooper
7:04 PM, Aug 16, 2013
9:13 PM, Aug 16, 2013
STUART, Fla-- A man accused of causing a crash that killed an 11-year old girl will spend the next 20 years behind bars.
29-year-old Michael Opsincs will also never be able to have a driver's license once he is released from prison.
On Sept. 29, 2010, Opsincs ran a red light near Kanner Hwy. and Pomeroy street, hitting a car that was turning west through the intersection. Inside the car was Todd Cooper, and three children including 11-year-old Brianna Cooper. All were injured, but Brianna was killed. The family was driving home from dinner.
Nearly three years later, family is closing this chapter of healing, by hearing their daughter's killer's sentence.
Family of Brianna wrote and read letter to Michael Opsincs in court. "Because of your actions, you caused the ultimate nightmare for any parents," said Todd Cooper.
"What you did took away a very special person in this family," said Grandfather Gregory Parkinson.
Opsincs' father, James Opsincs, assured the Cooper family that Michael is struggling with them. "I know Michael would have given his own life to save Brianna if he could have."
Michael Opsincs also offered an emotional apology. "I did not mean for this to happen, and I can't imagine how you feel towards me," said Opsincs.
The Cooper family hopes he will learn from his sentence. "Maybe he'll speak to kids so they know not to make these choices.
The family has started a foundation in Brianna's name that has helped raise college scholarships for 12 students. The family also hopes to start a camp targeting families who have felt a similar loss.
Opsincs was offered a plea deal in May that would have lessened his sentence to 15 years. He turned that down.