Everett Collection; Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage
Lynette Rice
July 18, 2017 AT 11:25 AM EDT

To read the full story on former Melrose Place star Amy Locane and the deadly drunk-driving crash that changed her life, visit amylocane.ew.com for “Wrong Turn,” an Entertainment Weekly Pop Culture True Crimes special feature. For more Pop Culture True Crimes stories, head here.

“I can only remember the frame of mind I was in before it happened, and then bits and pieces.”

Amy Locane stares blankly as she’s asked to recall what happened that summer night on June 27, 2010 in New Jersey. She admits that most of the details of the fatal collision didn’t become clear until her criminal trial in 2012, when several witnesses told the jury that Locane — best known for starring in School Ties and the first season of Melrose Place — was under the influence of alcohol.

“I don’t even recall how many I had,” Locane tells EW.

What followed was a cautionary tale about the dangers of alcohol abuse and how one dreadful decision can change so many lives forever: After drinking wine as a way to “cope with her problems,” Locane drove home alone in her SUV and broadsided a Mercury Milan driven by Fred Seeman, who was making a left turn into his driveway. His wife and front-seat passenger, Helene — a New York University adjunct professor and a fixture in the contemporary art world — died at the scene. Locane had a blood alcohol level of .26 — more than three times the legal limit. Police would later testify that she was found in a ditch, giggling, after the collision.

If there’s anything Locane does recall, it’s when she woke up in a ditch after colliding with the Seemans’ car. By the time police arrived five minutes later, Helene Seeman had no pulse; her husband incurred broken ribs and a punctured lung. A witness would testify to seeing Locane exit her car and pirouette into a ditch. “I’m pretty sure I had a concussion,” Locane says. As to reports that she giggled at the scene, Locane says, “I knew one of [the EMTs] was a husband of a girlfriend of mine. So I was like, ‘Hi.'”

After a two-and-a-half-month criminal trial, Locane, on Nov. 27, 2012, was found guilty of second-degree vehicular homicide and assault by an auto. She was immediately remanded to jail. “The worst night of my life was when I had to tell the kids that their mother wasn’t coming home,” recalls her soon-to-be-ex husband Mark Bovenizer, who split with Locane in November 2015.

In her first full-fledged interview since leaving prison on June 12, 2015, Locane talks to EW about how the case isn’t over yet. Her sentencing which many considered too lenient is on its second appeal, and Fred Seeman is suing her in civil court.

Though everyone is a victim here, something positive can come from such tragic circumstances, observes one addiction expert.

“In my journey from addiction to recovery I’ve learned that what separates me from the Amy Locanes of the world is nothing more than the seconds and the inches of my own life,” says William C. Moyers of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (which did not treat Locane). “I’m not proud to admit it. I can’t deny that in my times of being under the influence, I made poor choices that could have resulted in horrific consequences, not just for me and my family, but for anybody who crossed my path. So I think all of us have to ask ourselves, why or why not us? I think all of us can take a lesson from the bad choices that people like Amy made and try to learn something that prevents such tragedy from happening again.”

Read the complete story here for more on Locane and her life in the aftermath of the deadly accident.

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