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Mother convicted of vehicular homicide after drunk driver killed her child

A Georgia jury said Rachel Nelson contributed to her son’s death because she was jaywalking when a drunk driver ploughed into her and her children as they tried to cross the street.

Image: audreyjm529 via Creative Commons

A MOTHER WHO was crossing a road with her 4-year-old son when he was fatally struck by a drunk driver has been convicted of vehicular homicide, after a jury decided that she had been “jaywalking” when the incident occurred.

In April 2010, 30-year-old Raquel Nelson from Marietta, Georgia, USA, was crossing the road with her three children when she, her son and her daughter were hit by a car. The boy later died of his injuries, while the girl and mother suffered only minor injuries.

The driver, Jerry L Guy, had been drinking alcohol and taking painkillers on the day of the collision. He was also partially blind in one eye.

After the collision, Guy fled the scene.

Guy later admitted to hitting the child and was originally charged with hit-and-run, first degree homicide by a vehicle and cruelty to children. These charges were later dropped and Guy was instead charged only with a hit-and-run offence. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison - however, he was released after just six months and will serve the rest of his sentence on probation, Democracy Now reports.

Court records show that Guy was previously convicted of two hit-and-run accidents, which both occurred on the same day – 17 February 1997. One of the previous hit-and-runs occurred at the same location that Nelson’s child was struck – Austell Road, AJC reports

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On 12 July, Raquel Nelson was convicted of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing a roadway elsewhere than at pedestrian crossing and reckless conduct. Nelson is due at her sentence hearing on 26 July and could face up to 36 months in jail.

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