A Myrtle Beach man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in a crash that killed his 26-year-old passenger, according to authorities.
It was the second DUI conviction for Thomas James Gallagher, 30, of Myrtle Beach. He pleaded guilty last week to reckless homicide and felony driving under the influence resulting in death, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Circuit Court Judge Larry Hyman sentenced Gallagher to seven years in prison for the DUI and eight years in prison for the reckless homicide, sentences that will run concurrently.
Gallagher’s license was suspended and he was ordered to pay court costs.
The crash happened early Jan. 8 when Gallagher was driving along Leonard Road in the Socastee area, according to Assistant Solicitor Stephen Grooms. Cecilia Ann Williams, 26, was riding with Gallagher and suffered severe brain damage in the crash.
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Williams, also known as “CeCe,” died Jan. 13 from her injuries.
When troopers with the S.C. Highway Patrol arrived at the crash, they found an unopened beer in the vehicle, so they obtained a search warrant for a sample of Gallagher’s blood while he was being treated at the hospital, Grooms said.
The sample showed Gallagher’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.
Gallagher was convicted in 2012 of DUI.