POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 8:54am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 9:41am
Smith County, TX (KETK) — The Diana man who is charged with criminally negligent homicide for a fatal October 2012  crash, is was sentenced Thursday morning in a Smith County courtroom.
Justin Echols pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide Thursday morning.
Last year, Echols was drivintg a pickup when he lost control and crashed into a tree on Smith County Road 217, near FM 850.
Michele Allen, 27, of Harleton, was a passenger in the truck, and was thrown from the vehicle and pinned underneath it. She later died of her injuries.
Echols left the scene of the accident on an ATV before authorities arrived.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and a manhunt ensued.
Echols later turned himself in  to Upshur County authorities and transferred to the Smith County Jail.
He was formally charged  with criminal negligent homicide.
KETK was in the courtroom Thursday morning as the sentence was delivered. Echols will serve an 8 year sentence for the criminally negligent homicide charge, and 10 years for an accident involving injury or death.