FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother appeared in court and gave emotional testimony years after a hit-and-run crash claimed the life of her unborn child.
Michelle James was pregnant as she waited at a bus stop in Miramar with her two children on their way to pick up a birthday cake at Publix in May 2016.
A drunk driver careened off the road and hit the family, badly injuring everybody and killing James’ unborn child. The driver fled, but witnesses were able to chase her down until police arrived.
Authorities said 42-year-old Jessica Crane was the driver behind the wheel.
Her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, police said.
Crane was convicted of the crime at a court hearing. Testimonies were heard from the victim and Crane as the judge considered her sentence.
“I know there’s no words that I can say to take the pain away from you and your family,” Crane said. “I’m sorry for hurting you and your two children. I would never intentionally hurt anybody. I know the things that I’ve gone through and the pain that I’ve had, that I would never want to put the pain on anybody else. I just wish there was something that I could do, but I know there’s nothing that’s gonna take your pain away.”
James said she has no memory of what transpired on that day. She relied on her daughter, who was 5 years old at the time, to recall the events.
“She remembers, and she tells me what happened,” said James. “She said, it was so sad, ‘Mommy, the car was coming on me, and you just threw yourself, and you tried to shield us.'”
Crane told the court that she’d been an addict for most of her life, and said she’d do anything to take back what she’d done.
“Ms. James, I want to apologize for that day. I know I took your son’s life and I’m not a bad person, I really am not,” Crane said. “Where I went wrong I think was that I didn’t say no to that first drink.”
Crane faces at least four years in prison.
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