Karetha Murphy, daughter of Viola Jackson of Lyman, SC, shares her Victims Impact Statement. These were the words she read through tears in court prior to the offender being sentenced..
January 20th 2017, this day continues to replay in my mind. I hear my daughter screaming and crying on the phone. I’m asking her “What’s wrong?” And she couldn’t get the words out of her mouth. I continue to ask her what’s wrong and she’s still screaming and crying, finally I heard her repeatedly say “Grandma! Grandma! Mama please!” I rushed out the door not knowing where to go, praying over and over shaking, crying where I couldn’t hardly see. I called my daughter back and asked her please just tell me where she was. She gave me a name of a restaurant which I was familiar with and I continued to drive, crying. I asked my daughter to please get her and do CPR not knowing what really was going on. I continue to scream “Do CPR! Do CPR! You can save her!” when I finally arrived, I’m running to my mother’s car only to be stopped by an officer telling me I can’t go near the car and I’m asking why? Begging to please let me see my mother and “Why is my mother still in the car?” “Why are they covering her up?” I told the officer that I need to see her, please get her out of the car, and that’s when he told me my mother didn’t survive. My body got numb, my legs got we. This couldn’t be true. I didn’t get a chance that day to talk to her to tell her how my day was at work or to ask her how her day was. My heart is scarred for life. This day changed my life forever. I lay restless at night having flashbacks of the scene. I tend to pick up the phone and dial her number, only to remember I can no longer do this anymore. I can no longer talk to her for hours and hours late at night until we fall asleep on the phone. I feel empty, shattered, and destroyed. Every time I pass her house I still look to see if her car is in the driveway or if the kitchen light is on. She was the backbone of our family, her smile touched many people. She was loving, caring, and had a generous heart. She was a hard worker who raised four children. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, and loved preparing my favorite dish of potato salad. Until her death we spent every holiday and special occasion with her. With my mother not being here for the past holidays, has had a tremendous impact on our family. We can no longer see her make some of the most amazing holiday dinners. Holidays was her favorite time of the year, she would decorate her home just like she did when we were kids. She also had grandchildren and great grandchildren that will never have the opportunity to spend time or experience her love and affection. When the coroner described her injuries to us they used words like blunt force trauma. My mother didn’t deserve to die this way. She took very good care of herself. That could have been anyone on the road at that time. It wasn’t late at night when this happened, it was late evening mostly when everyone is getting off work. I pray no other family have to go through this tragic situation. I will never have the opportunity to spend time or see my mother again. The only way my family would be able to visit her is at her gravesite. This tragedy has taken my mother forever.
The offender was sentenced to 15 years in prison.