In Court, Widow Hugs Driver Who Killed Husband

She forgives woman who caused fatal accident

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 16, 2014 1:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Georgia widow confronted the woman responsible for her husband's death in a fatal car accident in court yesterday—and gave her a hug, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I know she is going through as much pain as I am feeling,” Sandra Walker told WSB-TV of her encounter with Tamara Matthews. "I wanted her to know that I forgive her for what she did." In the 2011 crash, Matthews' van hit the Walker family's van, killing both Walker's 35-year-old husband and Matthews' 16-year-old son.

Sandra Walker suffered life-altering brain trauma; her two young children, who were also in the car, escaped serious injury. Matthews pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane, but she avoided jail time at yesterday's sentencing. Walker, who didn't want Matthews to be separated from her remaining children, had wanted it that way, WBTW reports. Instead, the judge gave her 36 months of probation and 500 hours of community service.

A screen grab from video at WSB-TV.
A screen grab from video at WSB-TV.   (WSB-TV)
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Video of the sentencing.   (WSB-TV)

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