Mom Could Go to Jail for Jaywalking With Her Son

atlanta trafficAn Atlanta mom is facing up to three years in prison for jaywalking with her 4-year-old son who was consequently struck and killed by an oncoming car. Raquel Nelson, 30, was walking across a four-lane highway last year with her three children when the hit and run occurred. The crosswalk to get from the bus stop to Nelson's apartment building was too far away, so she decided to risk it and take the kids across the busy highway. No one else was harmed except her son.

The man who hit the family has two prior hit-and-run convictions and was released from his six-month prison term back in October. He admits to drinking and having some pain medication before getting behind the wheel the day of the accident, and oh, he's partially blind in one eye.

Guess who faces more jail time: the mom or the driver?

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If you guessed the jaywalking mom, unfortunately, you're right. The mom was convicted on July 12 of second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct, and failure to use a crosswalk. She faces up to three years in prison -- she's being sentenced today.

The driver, who pleaded guilty, will continue serving his previously instated five years of probation.

I think the mother has suffered enough and doesn't need to be put anywhere near a jail. I agree that crossing a four-lane highway is stupid and dangerous, but her son's life was taken -- isn't that punishment enough? Locking her up would only keep her from being a mother to her two other children. I don't think she's a danger to society in the least, while the driver, on the other hand, seems like he should be behind bars.

Who has two prior hit-and-run convictions? Good grief! I mean, is he aiming for people!? The fact that he admits to using mind-altering substances, combined with his prior convictions, combined with his blindness should at least mean that his license is revoked. I can't wrap my brain around a total of three hit-and-runs ... can you?

I hope the judge shows some compassion during the mom's sentencing ... three years in prison seems way too harsh. While she is not completely innocent, neither is the driver. But justice will not be served if this woman is put behind bars.

What do you think?


Photo via activefree/Flickr

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