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Woman gets 14 months in crash that maims worker

A tearful defendant entered a guilty plea this month for multiple charges stemming from the April collision that maimed two highway workers for the Department of Transportation in North Carolina.

The accident occurred on April 19 when both men got hit by the defendant at Capital Boulevard on Interstate I-440 East. One worker, 46, was tossed over the guardrail, while the other 44-year-old DOT employee got pinned between defendant's car and the DOT truck. His legs had to be amputated. The man remains wheelchair-bound and unable to work since the accident last spring.

The defendant was first charged under North Carolina's "move-over" law. That statute applies when serious injuries or deaths occur as a result of an accident. However, later felonious serious vehicular injury and driving while intoxicated charges were handed down to the defendant.

In open court, the Morrisville woman addressed her two victims, stating, "I am humiliated, depressed, despised by my actions. If I could turn it back over I would. I would do so in a minute. I am so sorry."

The court sentenced her to 14 months behind bars and mandatory treatment for substance abuse. Prior to her sentencing, she had been free on bond.

The amputee's mother spoke to the court at her sentencing, stating, "Our lives have forever changed. I pray that . . . she had time to think about what's she's done and change her actions so nobody else will have to become a victim."

While these men and their families may have experienced some closure upon the defendant's sentencing in criminal court, civil justice in these matters can still be pursued independently of any criminal proceedings.

Source: ABC 11, "Woman pleads guilty in crash that injured DOT workers," Elaina Athans, Dec. 15, 2016

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