A 23-year-old woman was sentenced to one to two years in state prison today for killing a teen-aged friend of hers in a car crash two years ago.
LaKisha Ward-Green, of Penn Hills, was ordered to prison for the Sept. 3, 2010, death of Robert Chambers IV, 16.
According to the prosecution, Ms. Ward-Green was driving 75 mph in a 35-mph speed zone on Stotler Road in Penn Hills near Robert's home on a Friday afternoon. He was a front-seat passenger in her car.
A vehicle pulled out in front of her, causing the young woman to swerve into oncoming traffic. She hit a school bus and then crashed into a pole. Robert was killed.
Ms. Ward-Green pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning.
During an emotional hearing this afternoon, Robert's grandmother and father complained that neither the defendant nor her family ever offered any apology for what happened.
"I don't see any remorse," said Cheryl Johnson. "I have to forgive her, but I haven't forgotten what she did."
Robert Chambers III told the judge that no matter what the sentence, his son was gone.
"I don't believe she intended to kill my son," he said. "Whatever happens today, it doesn't bring Robert back."
Ms. Ward-Green, who is studying to become an auto mechanic, apologized to the family, telling them that she hadn't before because her attorney told her the criminal case had to conclude first.
"It wasn't something that was intentional, and I think about it every day," she said, crying. "I've wanted to talk to them every day."
In addition to the prison term, Ms. Ward-Green will be required to spend three years on probation. As part of that sentence, she must talk to young people about the dangers of irresponsible driving.
Paula Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2620.