Mom speaks after daughter killed by alleged drunk driver with 5 DUI convictions

UPPER CHICHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A mother is speaking out after a man who was previously arrested five times for driving under the influence and is now charged with causing a fatal accident that killed her daughter.

Forty-five-year-old Deana Eckman was hit and killed in a crash and her husband was seriously injured.

The man charged in the crime never should have been behind the wheel.

Eckman's parents, Roseann DeRosa and her husband Richard, are dealing with a stinging, unforgettable pain that no parents should ever have to endure.

"Everything, everything. I don't believe in anything anymore. I am shallow. I have nothing, nothing in me to give except just hold my family together," said victim's mother, Roseann DeRosa.

DeRosa says her life has forever changed. She's preparing to bury her daughter.

"I don't want another family, mother, father, sibling, this is the worst pain. It's a pain that is never going to go away. It's not like you bury your mother, she is 70 or 80 years old and you deal with it. This was a young vibrant life," said DeRosa.

Eckman was killed Saturday night in a crash along Market Street in Upper Chichester.

EMBED More News Videos

Man with 5 previous DUI convictions kills woman in weekend crash, police say: Annie McCormick reports on Action News at 4 p.m., February 19, 2019


Police say 31-year-old David Strowhouer, who has five previous DUI convictions was allegedly intoxicated and driving on a suspended license when he crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed into Eckman, who was in the car with her husband, Chris.

Her husband was injured but survived. Eckman didn't make it out alive.

"Even though everybody tried to not make this happen, it happened but I think after 5 DUIs, I really believe that the person should be put away for a longer period," said DeRosa.

The family is now vowing to fight for stiffer penalties for repeat DUI offenders.

"I have a problem with our laws. I don't know how anybody could look at someone with 5 DUIs and say, oh, I will let you out early on good behavior."

Healing is a long way off, Deana is gone but not forgotten. Loved ones will forever remember her bright smile and contagious personality.

"I just hope she is watching down on all of us and I hope she realizes the outpouring of love that she is getting from everybody and how she is going to be missed. Tuesday is her funeral and it's going to horrible," said DeRosa.

According to the criminal complaint, Strowhouer faces more than a dozen charges with the most serious being homicide and aggravated assault by vehicle charges.

------
Send a News Tip to Action News

Learn More About 6abc Apps
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.