Photo of Erin Thompson, courtesy of Thompson/Johnson Family; photo of Justine Winter, courtesy of Winter Family
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    Sixteen-year-old high school student Justine Winter (right) and 35-year-old hair stylist Erin Thompson (left) had never met and had very little in common, except for one thing. On March 19, 2009, they were both driving home on U.S. Highway 93 in Kalispell, Mont. Watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
    Photo of Erin Thompson, courtesy of Thompson/Johnson Family; photo of Justine Winter, courtesy of Winter Family
  • Justine Winter and Ryan Langford

    Justine Winter and Ryan Langford were in love and often expressed their feelings through text messages to each other. Winter indicated that being with Langford helped her cope with family problems. She wrote to him: "You're the only thing holding me together. The only reason my parents won't get a divorce and move to an apartment or whatever is 'cause of me. So I live with them basically hating each other and me. You make me know that at least one person cares."
    Courtesy of Flathead County Attorney's Office
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    Erin Thompson met the love of her life, Jason Thompson, at a music festival in northwest Montana. "Right from the start, we were in love with each other," Jason Thompson told "20/20." The couple married on Aug. 12, 2006. "To know that I was going to be with her for the rest of my life was a blessing…." Thompson said. "It was a culmination of all my dreams."
    Courtesy of Thompson/Johnson Family
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    Erin Thompson had a son from a previous relationship, 13- year-old Caden. Jason Thompson enjoyed his new role as Caden's stepfather. "Being able to help support him, and watch him grow through the years, was just really special to me," he said. But Jason Thompson also had something else to look forward to -- he and his wife were expecting their first child together.
    Courtesy of Thompson/Johnson Family
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    On the evening of March 19, 2009, Justine Winter and her boyfriend, Ryan Langford, were arguing over something he read in her journal about an old boyfriend. The argument escalated to what seemed to be a breakup for the teens. Justine got into her car alone and sends emotional text messages to Ryan while driving. One of her last text messages is seen here.
    Courtesy of Flathead County Attorney's Office
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    As Justine Winter was driving south on Highway 93 she was texting Ryan Langford. Erin Thompson was driving in the opposite direction with her son, Caden, heading home after watching him perform in a school concert . Then, prosecutors say, minutes after Winter sent her last text, her speedometer climbed to 85mph and she plowed into Thompson's vehicle. Witness Richard Poeppel described the crash scene as having "the densest fog you could imagine."
    Courtesy of Flathead County Attorney's Office
  • Crash Kills Mother and Son; Did Teen Cause It on Purpose?

    Erin Thompson and her 13-year-old son, Caden, both died at the scene of the horrific car accident.
    Courtesy of Thompson/Johnson Family
  • Justine Winter neck brace

    Justine Winter sustained serious injuries from the accident, but survived. She was airlifted to Seattle Harbor View Hospital where she spent 47 days undergoing more than a dozen operations and making a slow recovery. Winter's mother, Mary Winter, listed some of the injuries her daughter sustained from the crash: "She had many fractures in her legs – her femur…shins… she had pins and bolts in her knees… she had her spleen taken out and [she] had a lot of infection going on… Her whole jaw needed to be replaced. She's got a plate in her jaw…she had the trach[eotomy] , so that she could breathe."
    Courtesy of Winter Family
  • Justine Winter mug shot

    Ryan Langford admitted to police that he and Justine Winter were exchanging heated text messages in the minutes before the car crash. He gave his cell phone over to investigators, who discover that the crash may have been no accident, but rather an intentional act of attempted suicide by Winter. She suffered head trauma from the accident and has no memory of that night. In September 2009, six months after the crash, Winter was charged as an adult with double homicide.
    handout
  • Justine Winter trial

    Justine Winter's trial began in January 2011. Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan believes Winter knew what she was doing when she collided with Erin Thompson's vehicle. "She purposely went into that wrong way in traffic, ran into [Erin's] car … and had to know, or should have known that by doing so, she was going to kill the occupants in that other vehicle," he said. Yet Winter's mother, Mary Winter, stands by her daughter's side. "She's a good girl. I know deep in my heart … it was an accident."
    Courtesy of Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
  • Jason Thompson, Justine Winter sentencing

    On Feb. 3, 2011, Justine Winter was found guilty of two counts of deliberate homicide. At her sentencing, Jason Thompson, Erin Thompson's husband, gave a heartfelt victim impact statement. "It would be impossible for me to explain the gravity of my grief and loss of my entire family. ..But grief and loss is equivalent to the amount that you've loved. And, I could never love anybody as much as I loved them," he said.
    Courtesy of Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
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