WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The driver involved in a deadly crash in Weld County has been sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Alex Rodriguez, 25, was drunk last Thanksgiving when he got on Interstate 25 and drove 10 miles in the wrong direction. He then crashed head on into another vehicle.

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Alex Rodriguez (credit: CBS)

Nineteen-year-old Kyle Nackos was killed and 16-year-old Nash Rider was critically injured.

“Although the maximum sentence will never bring Kyle back or make Nash all the way whole, it brings some closure to what we are feeling,” said Scott Nackos, Kyle’s father.

For the families of two Windsor teenagers — once promising success stories — a sentence of 37 years in prison for the driver who hit them brings some justice, but does not take away their pain.

“Kyle Nackos and Nash Rider did not deserve this and this should have never happened to them or their families,” said Madison Young, Kyle’s girlfriend.

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(credit: Family of Nash Rider)

“For the amount of time he spends in jail is nothing compared to the loss these two families will have to endure for the rest of their lives,” friend Tori Hartman said.

It was Rodriguez’s second DUI.

(credit: Family of Kyle Nackos)

“This was a horrific accident that happened. I made a huge mistake, but I am a good person,” Rodriguez said.

In sentencing him to the maximum, a judge said Rodriguez already had a shot at rehabilitation and hopes to send a message to the community — one the teens’ families echo.

Prosecutors say with parole eligibility it’s likely Rodriguez will only spend about 13 years of his 37-year-sentence in prison.

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