Voices of Victims: Larry Williams
Larry Williams was killed by a drugged driver Easter 2017. His wife Debbie Williams shares how her life has changed as a result of a woman’s choice to take drugs and drive. Debbie shares her victim impact statement she read in court with us.
I am Debbie Williams, wife of Larry Williams. I have put off writing this until the last minute as I know how painful this will be. Already my heart is pounding.
It is impossible to tell you the impact this woman’s CHOICE has had on me, our family & friends. My husband was not a perfect man but he was more than PERFECT for me. To understand the impact he had on my life you need to know that we grew up in the mill village, went to church and school together and became sweethearts at the ages of 12 & 15 as we caught the bus for our 1st date to go see our 1st movie “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” on main street. We got married at the ages of 19 & 16 on April 15, 1971. We were sweethearts from the time we met. (Although we did not like each other very much a few times). A year later we had our 1st child and a year after that we bought our 1st house. 4 yrs. later we had our 2nd child. And now have 5 grandchildren. We put each other through college. What one accomplished was for us both. I am 63 and I don’t remember a life without him. We never had to guess if we loved each other and never had to question our commitment or faithfulness. How could we have been so blessed?
There were times we each worked two jobs. We never had welfare, charity or handouts, even though in the beginning we lived in a one room apt and would sell bottles to get gas money when we ran short. One year for our anniversary we had no money for even a card. Larry dug up a wild rose bush he found in the woods and brought it to me (my most cherished anniversary gift). We worked hard for everything we had and most importantly we did it all TOGETHER. TOGETHER we were. We went through many times of grief and trying times but ALWAYS TOGETHER. We made each other whole. After knowing each other for 50 years you don’t realize how gradually the two have truly become one.
On Easter 2017, ONE day after our 46th Anniversary as he was coming home from church, (a little over a mile from our home, a few blocks from where 2 of our grandchildren live) a woman made a CHOICE to take drugs and drive. She knew better but CHOSE to get in a lethal weapon and drive! Therefore she CHOSE to risk killing someone. THAT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT!
How has this CHOICE affected our lives? I have watched the devastating effect Larry’s death has had on our children, grandchildren, other family and friends. Larry was a SOMEBODY bigger than life, full of character, laughter, many talents and kindness. WE have all lost something that you can’t get back! I am in counseling as is one of our grandchildren. We all deal differently. Our families always thought I was the strong one. WE were the glue that kept family together and strong. I have since found out how truly our lives had become one. How do you learn to breathe without your life (Larry)? Our family and friends are too numerous to count and have come to the rescue and I am so very grateful. BUT, HE still isn’t here! You see, she did not CHOOSE to just kill Larry, She also killed the largest part of me. When he quit breathing and functioning, much of me did as well. Our family & friends lost him AND a big part of me. You can’t understand it unless you have been there. Grandma can’t love as before (the largest part of her is gone!). Mom isn’t there as much (the largest part of her is gone!). The daughter, sister, best friend, nurse isn’t the same (the largest part of her is gone!). You can’t love, give or even receive adequately when you feel that most of you has died.
Have you any idea how hard it is to sleep at night when most of you is gone. I sleep with the blanket with his pictures on it. There is not a single 24 hour day that tears do not flow. I can’t look forward to life or enjoy it now when I have been killed with my love. We were so blessed to have talked about all the what-ifs and to have had the many years we had. I know there is much here to be done and a purpose in me being left. I struggle to gain a footing but this I do know and that is I have to fight for Larry to have a voice. He had no voice when Catherine Crumley CHOSE to come around that corner head-on into him ( I often wonder what he saw/felt on impact). He had no voice when he was so violently killed. He had no voice when Margaret Fisher & Corporal Antley (my angels) brought the bag with his shoes & the contents of his wallet. He had no voice when I saw the pictures and tapes of his mangle body where almost every bone in his body was out of socket, broken or both (All I wanted to do was to scoop him up in my arms and hold him so tight). He had no voice as I watched the tape of the woman that did this & showed absolutely no remorse. He had no voice as this woman was let out of jail to go back to the comfort of her home on the same street that our grandchildren live on and he is NOT there to protect them!
Your Honor, today We/I AM his voice. He finally has a chance to be heard & for justice to finally be served. No amount of time given will bring him back. As of yet we have seen absolutely NO justice. Catherine Crumley was raking leaves in her yard as I passed by on the way to the grand children’s house. This is a spit in my face by the system! Your Honor, my husband is NOT another case. He was my husband/friend/lover, the air I breathe. He was the “BEST POPPY EVER”, father, brother, best friend, family and he could just have easily been your family.
Your Honor, you alone can give our grieving family some justice today. I am begging you with every single fiber of what is left of my being to sentence her to the MAXIMUM time allowed with NO reduced time.
On August 22,2018 Judge Benjamin ordered a Presentencing Investigation. The hearing was live streamed and can be viewed at:
On September 30, 2019, Catherine Crumley was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the drugged driving crash that killed Larry Williams.