Victim’s mother wants reckless driving charge changed

Posted at 11:22 PM, Oct 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-06 10:31:55-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) - For Eunice Ridley, losing her only son is the worst thing that's ever happened to her.  And the second worst,  is the sentence handed down to the man responsible for the crash that killed him.

“I was floored. I could not believe it -- and he didn't even apologize to the family,” she said.

Four months ago, 35-year-old Steven Ridley was on I-95 changing a flat tire when police say Robert Krill of Pennsylvania ran off the side of the road in his U-haul and killed Steven. Standing outside the car was Steven's 14-year-old son, and inside the car his 9 year-old daughter.

“They will never forget it. How could they,” Ridley said.

In court Friday, Krill plead not guilty to  reckless driving. His attorney argued that sentencing should be based just on the charge itself - and not the result of the accident.

At the end, Chesterfield County substitute Judge Keith Hurley, sentenced Krill to 6 months in jail -- all of it suspended, except for 10 days.

“So, he got 10 days in jail for killing someone. Is that not ridiculous?" asked Ridley. "He hit a guardrail and gets a reckless driving charge. You hit a person and kill them, you get the same charge?” 

However, CBS 6 Legal analyst Todd Stone says that is the law.

“The punishment is not equated to the value of the victim`s life, it`s equated to the act at the time of the driving,” he said.

Ridley now says her goal is to change the law.

“I know that he would want me to help someone else. I will take my last breath trying to get it changed,” said Ridley.

Steven leaves behind his mother, wife and two children.