Lifestyle & Belief

Jaywalking mother sentenced to probation in son's death

A woman whose four-year-old son was struck by a van and killed while the family was jaywalking across a busy Georgia street has been sentenced to 12 months probation.

Raquel Nelson's son died when a hit-and-run driver rammed into the family as they crossed a four-lane road from the bus stop to their apartment block in Marietta without using the crosswalk, the Mail Online reported.  The crosswalk was reportedly less than 0.3 of a mile away.

Ms. Nelson, 30, a single mother, was sentenced in Cobb County Superior Court on a vehicular homicide charge today - escaping a possible three year jail term.

Earlier this month, courts convicted her of vehicular homicide for the death of her son, a crime which carries a thee-year-sentence - far more than the six months the hit-and-run driver served. The driver had a history of hit-and-runs. This was his third such offense.

Nelson told the Today show: "I've had to accept that he's gotten six months. There's nothing I can do about it, and even though he has had a history of it, I know nobody gets up that morning and says I'm going to kill a four-year-old. So I've had to forgive that portion of it. However, I think to come after me so much harder than they did him, I say it's a slap in the face. This will never end for me."

When asked why she didn't use the crosswalk, she replied: "I was trying to hurry up and get home, so we wouldn't have to be in the dark."

Her predicament galvanized the online community. A petition posted on asking that she not receive any jail time received more than 140,000 signatures in 48 hours.