DERBY — A Milford woman who was behind the wheel in a crash that killed a Stratford man on the Wilbur Cross Parkway has been sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison.

Police said Taylor Stanford, 24, had a blood alcohol level double the legal limit when she lost control of her car between exits 57 and 56 in Orange and swerved into an SUV being driven by Michael Zawadski, a 44-year-old Stratford man, about 4 p.m. May 27, 2017.

Witnesses told police Stanford had been speeding before the crash. Stanford had been charged with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, DUI, reckless driving and failure to maintain proper lane but pleaded guilty only to the manslaughter charge in a plea deal.

Zawadski was thrown from his vehicle and died at the scene.

Stanford faced between three and five years behind bars at her sentencing Thursday before Judge Peter McShane.

Zawadski was an avid remote control plane flier and a person who was always there for others, his friends and relatives told the judge.

“Michael was the kind of guy who would find out what would make you happy, then do exactly that,” Emily Maud, one of his friends, said. “This tragedy robbed the world of a good man.”

In a letter read by Zawadski’s cousin, Linda Malatesta, his mother said the crash “left me, my family and Michael’s friends in a constant state of sadness and disbelief.”

Stanford sobbed as she apologized to Zawadski’s loved ones.

“There will never come a time in my life when I don’t look back on this heinous incident with great remorse and regret,” she said.

“Michael Zawadski deserved a full life and I will always be sorry I took that away from him,” she said. “This tragedy of my own creation took a man away from family and friends who loved him and cared for him.”

The judge, a former prosecutor who was recognized by MADD for his work on drunk driving cases, thanked Zawadski’s family for speaking in court.

“I know so much, too much, about the impact of this senseless, tragic, very avoidable crime,” he said.

At the same time, he said, Stanford showed remorse.

“And I’m not just talking the remorse of getting caught, I’m talking true remorse — remorse that comes from the insightful look at within and determining what is right and what is wrong,” he said.

He then sentenced Stanford to a 10-year prison term to be suspended after she serves three and a half years, followed by five years of probation.

While on probation, Stanford will undergo random urine tests and her driver’s license will be suspended for a year, after which she will have to use an ignition interlock device to drive for two years.