Kali Shae Hardman, 31, pleaded guilty to driving with drugs in her system and causing a fatal crash, as well as driving without insurance
A 31-year-old woman from Utah will serve seven months in jail for causing a crash last summer that left her in critical condition and killed a 13-year-old boy. She admitted to having cannabis in her system at the time of the collision.
Kali Shae Hardman was sentenced last week and has also been court-ordered to spend time speaking with youth about the potential consequences of driving under the influence. She pleaded guilty to driving with drugs in her system and causing a fatal crash, as well as driving without insurance.
Baylor Christian Stout was killed in July after Hardman allowed her vehicle to wander into oncoming highway traffic and slammed head-on into a pickup truck containing Stout and his father, both of whom were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash—the truck rolled off the road. The younger Stout, who suffered from hereditary blood disorder hemophilia, died in hospital.
Hardman was also ordered to pay approximately USD$35,000 to a charity for hemophilia and put on probation for three years.
Investigators at the time of the accident concluded that Hardman had been drowsy, distracted and intoxicated behind the wheel.
“This is an incredibly grave and serious offense,” presiding Judge Kraig Powell told the courtroom. “Drowsy driving is more frightening to me than any other type of bad driving.”
Marty and Staci Stout, Baylor’s parents, say they are content with the sentence, but not the fact that Utah has more lenient penalties in place for driving under the influence of drugs like cannabis than for driving drunk.
“Whether it was marijuana or alcohol,” Marty Stout commented after the sentencing, “this tragedy still had the same impact on our family, so we’d like to see more equity in the sentencing guidelines.”
Hardman wept throughout court proceedings. “I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt anybody,” Hardman stated. “I hope that whatever the outcome is today that Baylor’s family finds closure.”
“If something positive can come out of this and Baylor’s life can impact others, we can try to find some good in it and try to move forward,” said Staci Stout at sentencing.
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