A man sentenced in a Georgia vehicular homicide case must carry around his victim’s photo as part of his punishment.
Tractor-trailer driver Daniel Crane, 50, had pleaded guilty to causing a seven-car pileup that killed 18-year-old high school student Summer Lee 11 months ago.
The judge who meted out the novel punishment said he was moved to do so after Lee’s mother told the court that she had forgiven Crane for her daughter’s death.
"I said to myself, 'This fella needs also to be reminded of the fact that she forgave him and of the life that he took,'" Carlisle told the Associated Press Friday.
"It may stay folded in his pocket and he may never look at it, but if he knows he's got to pick it up every morning and put it in the pocket of whatever clothes he wears, then maybe that will make him think a little bit about what happened," Carlisle said.
Crane admitted rear-ending Lee’s SUV and pushing it into five other vehicles on I-70 near Atlanta. The sentencing was held June 22 in Carlisle’s courtroom in Henry County.
Crane, who is from New Mexico, was ordered to serve 60 days in jail followed by 22 months of probation.
He will have to keep Lee’s photo with him as an added condition of probation.
Carlisle imposed another condition, ordering Crane to carry around the victim impact statement Kimberly Lee read in court about her daughter.
Crane could be jailed if he violates those conditions.
"We were pleased when the court took an extra step to require the defendant to carry my daughter's picture with him as well as the statement I read to the court," Lee said.
She told the Henry Daily Herald that she wanted to hear Crane apologize.
“In court he never apologized, not even for the wreck, but to never apologize for the life that was taken — that’s what we had a problem with,” she told the paper. “To not show any remorse is what has torn us apart.”
She told the paper her daughter was “an original soul.”
Carlisle said it appeared Crane was distracted at the time of the crash.
"It's a sad thing," said the judge. "There's nothing in the world that anybody can do to change what happened, but maybe things can change in the future."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.