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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