Crime

Judge Orders Driver To Carry Picture Of Girl He Killed (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs
Car accidentCar accident

In addition to jail time, a New Mexico man received an unconventional sentence after he accidentally killed an 18-year-old: a judge ordered him to carry around the deceased girl's photo.

On June 22, a judge ordered Daniel Crane, 50, to keep on his person both a photo of Summer Lee and a text copy of the statement issued during the trial by her mother, according to ABC News. Crane was also given a two-year sentence comprised of 60 days in jail -- which he has already served -- and the remainder on probation.

"I said to myself, 'This fella needs also to be reminded of the fact that she forgave him and of the life that he took,'" Senior Judge Rusty Carlisle of Georgia told reporters. "It may stay folded in his pocket and he may never look at it, but if he knows he's got to pick it up every morning and put it in the pocket of whatever clothes he wears, then maybe that will make him think a little bit about what happened."

On Aug. 20, Crane was driving a tractor-trailer behind Lee's SUV, when he struck the back of her vehicle, launching it into five other cars.

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Lee was killed and seven other people were injured.

Crane pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and following too closely.

"It's a sad thing," said Carlisle. "There's nothing in the world that anybody can do to change what happened, but maybe things can change in the future."

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Carlisle, who was filling in for another judge and had not been prepped on the details prior to the trial, noted that Crane was likely distracted while driving.

In a statement issued through the prosecutor, Kimberly Lee, Summer's mother, said that she was "pleased" with the "appropriate" sentence.

"I believe in my heart Summer would want me to forgive you, but please know the difference in forgiving and forgetting," Kimberly read aloud from the written statement at the trial. "I know through my faith I must forgive if I plan on seeing her again when my day comes, so I would like to say I forgive you."

Lee is survived by her brother Slater Eckert, maternal grandparents Earl and Pat Hasty, paternal grandparents Rocky and Joan Lee and her service dog Marley, notes The South Metro Neighbor.

"Summer was a beautiful girl, with long flowing hair, big blue eyes and a smile that was radiant," her obituary read, according to The South Metro Neighbor. "She would light up any room when she entered and everyone turned to look. She had a big personality that was spunky and strong-willed. Her loving and free spirit is what most people will remember."

Sources: Associated Press via ABC NewsThe South Metro Neighbor / Photo Credit: PixabayAssociated Press via Daily Mail/Daily Mail

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