An Inman, South Carolina, man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his involvement in a fatal 2011 car crash. The car accident tragically ended the life of an 18-year-old Byrnes High School senior and seriously injured the teen's three passengers. The man pleaded guilty to one count of reckless homicide and three counts of first-degree assault and battery.
The car accident happened on Highway 129 in Wellford. The man was driving a truck when he crossed over the center line and crashed head-on into the teen's vehicle. It was reported that the man also crashed into another vehicle, injuring its driver. The attorney for the man claimed that it was sleep deprivation as a result of his work schedule that caused the car accident.
The man received a sentence of 10 years in prison for the Wellford crash, which was suspended to seven years with five years of probation. He is also ordered to receive drug treatment, remain drug free, complete 250 hours of community service and have a mental health evaluation. The mother of the teen feels the punishment is not enough.
She had hoped for a full 40-year sentence and stated she feels the man received a "slap on the wrist." She indicated that she and her two other sons are struggling with the death of her oldest son. In perhaps the most tragic twist, the South Carolina highway where the car accident occurred had been dedicated to the teen's father, an Army soldier who was killed three years earlier by a road-side bomb while serving in Afghanistan.
Source: GoUpstate.com, "Michael Blake White pleads guilty to reckless homicide in crash that killed Byrnes High senior," Kim Kimzey, May 24, 2012