Family Forgives Woman

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A Pike County woman admits to her role in a deadly crash and the victim's family says they forgive her.

Helen Smith, 67, died last year after police say Patricia Dotson was under the influence when she slammed into Smith's car.

Wednesday in court, Dotson apologized to Smith's family.

Dotson was sentenced to two and a half years, but before she went to jail, Smith's family wanted to know why the crash happened.

Dotson apologized for taking their mother away from them.

Patricia Dotson, 53, says she thinks about 67 year old Helen Smith every day.

She died when police say Dotson drove under the influence and hit Smith's car in November last year.

“I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart this has happened,” Dotson said.

Dotson pleaded guilty to DUI and reckless homicide charges.

She faced Smith's family in court during her sentencing.

“I really have all the sympathy in the world for this family,” Dotson said. “I know there is nothing I could say that can bring this lady back, and if there was, I would most definitely do it.”

Dotson had no criminal record until the accident.

Police say she crossed the center line on Kentucky 194 and hit the car head on.

Investigators said she appeared high at the scene and tests showed she had HydroCodone in her system.

In court, Smith's daughter asked Dotson why this happened.

Then Smith's daughter accepted her apology.

“I would just like to tell her that I forgave her, that I forgive her for what happened,” Shirley Honaker said.

The judge sentenced Dotson to two and a half years behind bars, but Dotson says she has a life sentence suffering over what she did.

Dotson received credit for 65 days she already served in jail.

She returned to jail after the sentencing.

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  • by sue Location: Ky on Oct 2, 2008 at 06:52 AM
    Forgiving would be extremely hard to do- God bless this family - I think they have done something I would find hard to do!!
  • by J.L. Location: Kentucky on Oct 1, 2008 at 11:42 PM
    Good story, I feel sorry for all of them, this just goes to show how one minute can change everything, and how all people can make mistakes and forgive one another. It is right this is a life sentence for all involved because they all hurt in different ways. I am sure that this woman does regret doing this. We have drug problems in our state and I would beg that we don't put these people who get in trouble on more drugs just to try to solve the problem of them being legally or illegally used. Any kind of psychotropic drug whether it be a pain pill or psychiatric pill can be so easy to get hooked on and no one really knows who will. I beg the doctors in our state to be more careful of giving them out and watching out for those that they are being given too. They are not candy and some times people really may need some of them, but not like candy, they are not candy they are serious medications that cause lots of social problems and then we don't see the monkey on the person's back.
  • by kim on Oct 1, 2008 at 06:45 PM
    somebody should check out which pain clinic she was going to and see who prescribed those meds and if she really needed them. Also, did Medicaid buy those drugs she took or what???


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