Widow of man killed in crash pushes for tougher hit-and-run penalties
A woman who lost her husband to a crash involving an impaired driver is calling for tougher penalties for those who flee crash scenes.
Jawana Richardson, of Hempstead, says there's not a day that goes by that she doesn't think about her late husband, Sherman. He was killed in a horrific crash in 2014 on the Southern State Parkway.
Last year, 35-year-old Madi Grant was convicted for driving while high in the crash. Police say Grant crashed into Sherman Richardson's car, pushing it into a tree and killing him, before fleeing the scene.
Police say Grant later set fire to the car to cover up his crime. He was sentenced to 14 to 30 years in prison.
Jawana Richardson is one of many Long Islanders who have tragically lost loved ones at the hands of drunken or drugged drivers. Many gathered Sunday in Melville at an annual vigil held by Mother's Against Drunk Driving, of MADD. Families of the victims lost say the ceremony helps to honor their loved ones and while giving them a voice to call for change to current laws.
Richardson has started an online petition to get a bill passed that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers. The bill passed in the state Senate last year, but then stalled in the Assembly Transportation Committee. The 2018 legislative session begins this month.
Members of law enforcement and the district attorneys offices in both Nassau and Suffolk say they will continue to aggressively pursue impaired drivers and hope for stricter state laws.