Driver wishes he could have taken girl’s place in car accident

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A man has been sentenced in South Carolina for killing a little girl and injuring her dad on New Year’s Day of 2012. The man told the girl’s family, “I wish I could have taken her place,” just before the judge passed sentence on him. He also told the family that he would participate in their crusade to keep drivers who have been drinking from getting on the road and possibly causing a car accident.

The little girl’s family was on its way to church that morning when the accident happened. The man mistakenly believed that by sleeping for a few hours after partying that he was capable of driving. By the time police were able to obtain a blood alcohol sample from the driver, his BAC was recorded at 0.208. The legal limit in South Carolina is 0.08.

The driver was sentenced to nine years in prison for the death of the little girl and another 10 years in prison for the injuries sustained by her father. The sentences will run at the same time. This means that the driver will be eligible to be released after serving a little more than seven years, or 85 percent, of his prison term.

In the meantime, the family is lobbying the state legislature to require anyone convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle. The proposed law, which has been dubbed Emma’s law, has already passed the state Senate and is awaiting approval from the House. If the family was to exercise its right to file a civil action against the driver in connection with this tragic car accident, it may help fund their anti-drunk driving efforts that could very well save lives.

Source:, “SC man to serve 9 years in fatal DUI crash that killed little girl,” Aug. 6, 2013


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