On June 23, then 25-year-old Amanda Kosal was driving on Beech Daly Road near Plymouth Road when she crossed the centerline and hit an SUV head on. The crash resulted in the death of 31-year-old Jerome Zirker. His 31-year-old fiancée, Brittany Johnson, sustained severe injuries during the crash.
Kosal has since been sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison, having admitted that she had been drunk at the time of the crash.
She pleaded guilty to operating under the influence causing death. Another charge – operating under the influence causing serious injury – was dismissed.
During the hearing, Judge Qiana Lillard ordered the removal of two people who were allegedly speaking and laughing before Kosal’s sentence was read.
Judge Lillard said, "It's time for him to go. And I don't know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member ... in the entire time that Mr. Zirker's sister was speaking that clown, and that's what I am going to call him, a clown, was sitting there smiling and laughing. And you can go, too. Because if you don't know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave. Anybody that can sit there and laugh and smirk -- take her, she's going in the back -- anybody else wanna go? You can go, too. This is a court of law. And these are very serious matters. I understand that you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison but guess what, she's going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one and you're sitting here acting like it's a joke?"
The woman was sent to jail for criminal contempt.
The judge stated, "Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today's proceedings and you, ma'am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days."
Johnson, now a single mother of five, told Local 4 that Zirker had just picked her up after her 12-hour shift at a group home on the day of the crash. Usually, all the children ride along to pick her up.
“Luckily, they were at grandma’s house or it would have been all of us,” she said.
Zirker’s mother, Rathel Fizer, stated that she didn't want Kosal to go to jail.
“I want her to stay out and help support my grandchildren, because they don’t have a father to take care of them,” she said. “If she goes to prison or jail, I’m taking care of her. I don’t want her to mail a check. I want her to hand-deliver it to them so she can see the faces that she destroyed."