Woman apologizes to man injured in her DUI crash
BY RUTH ANN KRAUSE Post-Tribune correspondent October 4, 2013 12:20PM
Updated: October 5, 2013 8:00PM
A Lake Station woman who admitted she was intoxicated when she crashed her SUV into a car and seriously injured the other driver has been sentenced to two years on probation.
Diane Elizabeth Washington-Taylor, 50, apologized to Joshua Headley “from the bottom of my heart” as she cried at her sentencing hearing Thursday.
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., heard testimony from Headley, who suffered several broken bones and internal injuries in the Dec. 11, 2011, crash at Michigan Street and Calumet Avenue in Hammond. Washington-Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Judge Stefaniak noted that Headley has suffered and continues to suffer the effects from the crash, including being jailed for not being able to pay child support.
Deputy prosecutor Michael Haynes, who urged Stefaniak to make Washington-Taylor earn a reduction of her felony conviction to a misdemeanor, noted Headley is unemployed and has not had a car since the crash. Headley walked from Merrillville to Crown Point for the hearing.
Washington-Taylor was uninsured at the time of the crash. She has agreed to pay $75 per week to Headley to help him with mounting bills.
Defense attorney Steve Mullins said his client has no criminal convictions and has worked in the health care field her entire life. From the time of the crash, Mullins said Washington-Taylor’s primary concern was for Headley’s well-being.
Stefaniak said he felt Washington-Taylor’s remorse was genuine and heartfelt and assessed her as a “hardworking woman who has a conscience and a good moral background.”
After the hearing, Washington-Taylor gave Headley a hug in the hallway.
Washington-Taylor served 10 days in Lake County Jail.