Woman sentenced for injuring daughter in car crash, smoking meth before driving

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Tough love for a young mother in court Thursday, she's set to spend the next five years in prison for seriously injuring her daughter in a car crash.

Before driving, she was smoking meth.

Jessie Fessler was headed home to Des Moines, Iowa in 2017, driving north on 75 from Dallas, where she lived at the time.

She exited near Park Avenue in Sherman.

"At some point in time she ran off the road down into Post Oak Creek," said First Asst. District Attorney Kerye Ashmore.

Dropping about 20 feet down, the car landing in water.

The passenger, her own 2-year-old daughter. Prosecutors said they're both lucky to be alive.

"The child had a broken leg, multiple bruises and contusions throughout her body, cuts, scrapes," Ashmore said.

The 25-year-old's daughter was flown to a Dallas hospital and had to wear a neck brace.

Ashmore said she pleaded guilty to injuring a child.

"She put in a couple of hits of methamphetamine in Dallas prior to coming through Sherman that night," he said.

She also pleaded guilty to possessing meth.

It was all part of a plea deal. Had she gone to trial and faced all five charges, she could have gotten 20 years in prison.

"A meth pipe in her car and about a quarter gram baggie of methamphetamine also," Ashmore said.

Fessler admitted to smoking meth at a friend's house before driving around midnight.

"She had never been arrested before, so she had no criminal history," Ashmore said.

Fessler got five years in prison and four years probation.

Ashmore said the judge took note of the severity of the situation.

"Who she endangered. Not only herself and her child, but anybody else on the roadway," he said.

She will be eligible for parole after serving a year and three months.

"I think jail time was appropriate. I think the judge hit it where he should have," Ashmore said.