A 46-year-old Port Arthur woman who pleaded no contest Tuesday, Feb. 19, to two counts of aggravated assault and admitted her guilt in a collision on U.S. 69 that caused the death of a Groves man more than a year ago was sentenced Monday, March 18, to serve five years in jail and pay two $500 fines.
By taking the plea agreement, Zola Ann Wilson avoided a possible prison term of 20 years for the death of Gary Naquin, 34, who died in the accident.
According to The Examiner archives, Naquin — a father of three — and his family were on their way to a fishing trip when they rear-ended a 2004 Kansas City Southern (KCS) Freightliner that had collided with Wilson’s Hyundai Accent when she slammed on her brakes.
Wilson later admitted to police she was enraged at the driver of the KCS truck when it threw up a rock and cracked her windshield. According to a probable cause affidavit, after the rock hit her windshield, Wilson passed the truck and pulled in front of the large freighter before slamming on her brakes. Naquin was unable to stop and was later pronounced dead as a result of the crash. Naquin’s two children and their mother, Lisa Naquin, were also severely injured.
At Monday’s sentencing, Wilson pleaded with Stevens’ court to receive probation due to her declining health, saying doctors had diagnosed her with kidney failure and had given her two years to live without a kidney transplant.
Judge John Stevens was unmoved, pointing to the major physical and emotional damage Wilson caused Naquin’s family. He said Naquin’s 7-year-old had “severe internal injuries” and Naquin’s wife had a lacerated liver.
“You commit a crime in a vehicle like this and you’re going to be held responsible,” Stevens said.
Wilson gave one last statement to the court before being incarcerated.
“I’m very sorry for everything,” she said.