Diane Stone and Malena Kinsey

Shared by Diane Stone and Malena Kinsey of Lexington County, SC. This mother and daughter  shares with us their Victim Impact Statements read at the sentencing of man who cut their car in two while driving drunk. The drunk driver was sentenced to  7 years in prison.

Diane’s Story:

My name is April Diane Stone. One June 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm, I almost died due to Mr. Collins driving with drugs and alcohol in his system.  I spent 13 days in ICU. I had a traumatic brain injury, seizures and mini strokes.  Because of the strokes, I will have to be on medication the rest of my life. I also had a fractured sternum, multiple bilateral rib fractures, a broken wrist and a collapsed lung. I was on a ventilator because I could not breathe on my own. I also had a trach, chest tubes and feeding tube. My family stayed at the hospital for 13 days, scared that I was going to die. It hurts me knowing that my family had to see me like that and how scared they were.

When I finally came home, my daughters had to bathe and dress me.  My mother who has cancer, had to drive me to very painful physical therapy appointments. I could not go back to work for 5 months. I am the sole provider for my home. We could not pay for food, rent or electricity.

I still have to wear a brace on my right hand and I am still in pain. This wreck has changed my life forever. I know that Mr. Collins had a DUI 2 months before he hit us. I don’t think he learned a lesson then and I still don’t he has from our wreck.

I am asking Judge that you give him the maximum sentence allowed of 15 years. If he is locked up, he can’t hurt anyone else. If he is out, I am so scared that next time, others won’t be as lucky as us. Next time he could kill someone.


Malena’s Story:

My name is Malena Kinsey. Friday June 3rd 2016, my 23rd birthday, me and my mom was heading on Platt Springs Road toward Pond Branch Road. We came up to the 4 way at Calks Ferry, Pond Branch, and Platt Springs road. We were in my 2000 Ford Mustang. I was driving and my mom was in the passenger seat. I stopped at the 4 way to cross over to Pond Branch road, I looked both ways and it was clear to take off so I went to go across and I remember a big bang. When I woke up I couldn’t see my mom, she wasn’t in the car. I climbed out her side of the car to see her lying face down in the grass. I tried to talk to her but she wasn’t responding. People were running towards me telling me not to move her that the ambulance was on its way. The front of my car was by a light pole and the back of my car was about 25 feet away. My car was split in two. The paramedics put my mom in an ambulance and said they had to wait for a helicopter to arrive. I was terrified. They then strapped me to a board and I was taken to the hospital.  Mr. Collins ran the stop sign and hit the passenger side of my mustang, ejecting my mother from the car.  Both of us were

wearing seat belts, they both popped. Seeing my mom laying there on the ground, I thought she was gonna die. My mom is the most important person to me, she has basically been my
mom and my dad. She also takes care of my grandmother and my little sister. She is their primary care provider. She took care of a lot of stuff. After the crash I had to step in and be my mom.  I had to find out when my sister Angel and my grandmother’s appointments were and when all the bills were due. I did not know how to deal with all of it. It was so overwhelming that sometimes I just had to walk away and cry.  I just don’t understand why someone that has already been arrested for a DUI would do the exact same thing again but hurt someone this time. My mom was in the hospital with 6 broken ribs, a broken wrist, and broken sternum and had a trach to help her breathe. It was the worst feeling to look at someone you love and try to communicate with them and get nothing. I want her back to the old mom but she will ever be the same. I wasn’t hurt physically that bad just bruises, and pain, but emotionally I am tore up. I freak out when I’m in a car now. If riding with someone I’ll be aggregating them to make sure they’re paying attention and stuff like that. I tense up when another car comes close to the car I’m riding in or driving. I’ve told myself that I never should have let her go with me or that it should have been me in ICU instead of her. That I should have went a different way. That I should have never left home that day, but because I did, me and my mom’s life is changed forever.

Your honor, Mr. Collins almost killed my mom. He chose to get behind the wheel of his car and then to hit us, cutting my mustang in half.  Please keep others safe and give him the maximum of 15 years in prison.