Paola man sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for drunken crash that killed Baker University employee

photo by: Contributed

Tayler J. Livingston

A Paola man was sentenced to more than three years in prison after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a deadly head-on car wreck in February 2020.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that Tayler J. Livingston, 27, was sentenced to 41 months, the standard sentence for the level-four felony conviction, in the death of Deeva Sharma, 25, of Leawood. Livingston pleaded guilty to the charge in July.

As the Journal-World previously reported, Livingston was westbound on U.S. Highway 56 approximately 1 mile east of Kansas Highway 33 in a GMC Sierra around 4:40 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2020. The area is about 6 miles east of Baldwin City.

Livingston reportedly crossed the center line to pass the vehicle in front of him on the two-lane road. His truck’s front bumper struck the bumper of an eastbound Toyota Prius, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol crash report. The driver of the Prius, Sharma, was killed in the crash, according to the report.

Livingston was not injured, according to the report. The vehicle that Livingston was reportedly attempting to pass was hit with debris, causing “substantial damage,” but its driver was not injured and the vehicle could be driven away from the scene.

A blood test showed Livingston was intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level of 0.12, the DA’s office said.

Along with the sentence, Livingston was ordered to complete 36 months of post-release supervision and pay $6,800 in restitution to Sharma’s family.

Sharma’s obituary from a Lenexa funeral home says that she was an admissions counselor at Baker University who intended to pursue higher education doctoral programs with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. She would have turned 26 the day after the crash.


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