Mother confronts drunk driver who killed her son - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mother confronts drunk driver who killed her son

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EL CAJON (CBS 8/CNS) - Karen Lennon struggled in court Tuesday as she spoke about losing her only child in a drunk driving crash late last year.

"I'm depleted, grieving. I miss my loving son with every fiber of my being," Lennon said.

April Carole Thompson, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to six years in state prison. She pleaded guilty in June to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Thompson also admitted allegations of use of a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .15 percent or higher.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Thompson was driving west in an eastbound lane of SR 52 about 1 a.m. Dec. 29 when her Chevrolet truck crashed head-on into a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle driven by 25-year-old Jayme Alan Midlam.

Midlam died at the scene, and Thompson was treated at a hospital for moderate injuries.

"There are no words that will bring Jayme back or ease the pain, suffering, the heartache that the defendant's decision to drink and drive has caused our family and friends," Lennon said.

Thompson was also emotional as she read a letter addressed to Jayme's family out loud.

"For the rest of my life I will feel remorseful for what I did and the pain a caused your family," she said.


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CHP Officer Albert Udan, testifying at a hearing in January, said the driver of a big rig told him that he saw oncoming headlights and immediately slowed to 35 mph and pulled over the right side of the freeway. The trucker said the victim's car passed him and was hit head-on by Thompson's vehicle.

After the crash, Thompson tried to back out of the wreckage, but was unsuccessful, according to court testimony.

CHP Officer Shad Davidson testified that two men trying to get Thompson out of her truck told him that she kept saying "she just wanted to go home."

Thompson's blood-alcohol level was estimated to be .24 or .25 percent -- three times the legal limit for driving -- at the time of the collision, Runyon said.

In court Tuesday, Runyon said that Thompson admitted to drinking at least three beers and six shots of rum with soda water the night of the crash.

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