Waco woman gets probation in drunken driving crash that killed mother of four

Woman to be jailed 90 days as condition of suspended prison sentence
Sandra Nicole Mashek
Sandra Nicole Mashek(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 6:04 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco woman whose 2020 drunken driving crash killed the mother of four children was placed on felony probation Tuesday and jailed for 90 days as a condition of her suspended prison sentence.

Judge Susan Kelly of Waco’s 54th State District Court accepted the plea bargain between Sandra Nicole Mashek, 28, and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office and sentenced Mashek, the mother of three children, with one due Oct. 22, to 10 years felony probation. She was taken into custody after the sentencing hearing.

Mashek’s fourth child will be due before she completes her 90-day jail term. Court officials said Tuesday it’s possible for arrangements to be made for her to have the child at a hospital before returning to jail to complete her 90-day term.

Mashek pleaded guilty in April to intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of Skyla Jean Cox, 25, whose body was thrown into a residence in the 1100 block of Dallas Street after she was ejected from the crashed vehicle.

Prosecutor Ralph Strother said the “entire case was a tragedy.”

“A young woman lost her life and her future,” Strother said. “The defendant, now a convicted felon, has a black mark on her life that will always follow her. Given the unique circumstances of this case, our office feels that the verdict and sentence was the just and proper one.”

Mashek’s attorney, Melanie Walker, said the case was a “tragic accident for everyone involved.”

“Ms. Mashek is very remorseful about what happened. She is very thankful for the opportunity to be placed on probation and to try to show how much she has already changed,” Walker said.

Waco police said Mashek had a blood-alcohol level of 0.148 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08, when she wrecked Cox’s Kia Forte.


Sandra Nicole Mashek
Sandra Nicole Mashek(KWTX)

According to arrest records, Mashek lost control of the vehicle and struck a curb, causing the vehicle to start flipping across a yard, where it came to rest on its side in the driveway of the home.

Cox’s body slammed into the home and landed on the back porch steps.

Mashek admitted to officers that she drank at least a fifth of Crown Royal whiskey and several shots of fireball whiskey with three friends over the course of the evening, according to an arrest affidavit.

Two of Cox’s older sisters gave victim impact statements in court Tuesday after Mashek was sentenced.

“No amount of sentencing will ever bring my sister back, and I honestly feel like you have been given way too much leniency on this because you took my sister’s life and you don’t deserve just 10 years probation,” one said. “I’ll tell you that right now. You took her from me. And the way you acted afterwards, you should be ashamed of yourself because no true friend would have left your friend like that.”

The woman urged Mashek to change, saying she needs somehow to find a “silver lining” from her sister’s tragic death. She said the only way for that to happen is for her to change.

“I have a lot of hate in my heart for you and I don’t like it,” she said. “But I can’t get rid of it until I see you change. But you can’t forgive somebody who doesn’t give a s--- for what they did. And right now I don’t feel like you give a s--- about what you did, and I really hope that this opens your eyes.”

Cox’s other sister also said she hopes Mashek will turn her life around.

“You get to live your life and I pray that you make something of it,” she said. “And I hope that you change to be the mother your children deserved you to be in the very beginning.”