Daniel and Lacey Rawlings received their sentence yesterday in connection with the death of their two children and their niece. The couple drove through the flooded Tonto Creek in Tonto Basin in 2019. Prior to the sentencing the two pleaded guilty. Gila County Superior Court Judge Timothy Wright called the case a tragedy, not an accident. He said, “if you look up tragedy it’s something that causes suffering, destruction and distress and one thing included in that is crime.” He added, “it clearly could have been avoided by different actions by the defendants. In fact one simple action of obeying a large road closed sign.” The judge also noted the surviving children of the two, and their extended family, would continue to suffer should he sentence them to jail time. The judge also took into consideration the two had no criminal history. Daniel, who was driving the flatbed truck at the time, received five years probation. Lacey was sentenced to four years probation. The couple had seven kids in their military-style vehicle when they attempted to cross the creek, ignoring barricades. Emotional testimony was in delivered by friends and family members, along with the parents of the niece who died, asking the judge for leniency before the sentence.