A driver involved in an accident that killed her passenger was sentenced on Thursday. Tamika Brown was given 60 days in jail and a year’s probation on two counts of motor vehicle homicide.
On April 28th, Brown learned that her 11-year-old son had been hit by a car near 78th and Blondo. He turned out to be okay, but when she raced to the hospital with her son's babysitter she went through a stop sign and crashed into a van at 50th and Decatur.
The babysitter, 27-year-old Delanie Harris, who was pregnant at the time, was killed. She was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the SUV, which came to rest on top of her.
Both Brown’s family and the Harris family are okay with the sentence. “She's a good person,” said Thomas Matthews, Delanie’s father. “I know that what she did was not intended. It was a true accident. It hurt me, the way it happened, but I did not want to see her get the maximum penalty in any kind of way."
Matthews said Harris and Brown were best friends. “We all know that we are all family and we will forever be family and we just want the other family to know that we are hurting just as well as they are hurting and we love them,” said Tonya Brown, Tamika’s sister.
Before the judge announced Tamika’s sentence, he said, “A year in jail has no relation to what was lost or taken." Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine explained what the judge meant. “Don't equate a sentence of a defendant with the value of the person's life that was lost because that can never equal out."
“I really, really still care about her and her children and I want to see her get back to her children, take care of them as soon as possible,” said Matthews.
As Tamika was escorted to jail, Matthews’ thoughts remained with the daughter and grandchild he lost. “That's just where I'm at. I am at peace with it because she didn't suffer for a long period of time and it is going to be okay.”
Kleine said that with good time, Brown could be released in 35 to 40 days.