A Ohio man was sentenced on Thursday for his role in a Cleveland car crash that paralyzed an infant girl for life, according to court records.
Daryl Brown, 62, is set to serve a total of eight years behind bars after he pleaded guilty in October to multiple charges, including vehicular assault and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to an indictment obtained by HuffPost, Brown was driving under the influence of alcohol on Feb. 22 while attempting to flee police in a high-speed chase.
During the chase, Brown ran a red light, leading to a three-car collision. This pushed the vehicle of another person, Lexis Crowell, into a tree while her then-11-month-old daughter, Lotus Legaci Love Jones, was sitting in the back seat.
A GoFundMe page for the family said that Lotus “will never be able to say her first words or take her first steps” because of the incident. Crowell is now taking care of the girl full time, so she cannot go back to work, it added.
Addressing a judge and Brown at his sentencing, a tearful Crowell said that no matter how much time Brown received, it would never give back what her daughter had lost.
“He hit her so hard, she died in the car, she died three times on the table to the point so much CPR gave her lung damage that she’ll never breathe on her own,” the mother said.
Lotus’ family brought in a poster filled with photos of the baby before the accident, showing her smiling and happy, as well as photos taken since the incident. Crowell said her daughter barely smiles now.
The mother said her life has turned upside down because of the crash. Lotus is still hospitalized, and Crowell said she doesn’t know when her daughter can return home because of the amount of medical attention needed.
Crowell described the trauma that her daughter suffered, stating that she sleeps most of the day because of a brain bleed and is just learning how to hold her head up a little.
“I feel like she pretty much is dead,” Crowell told Brown. ”You took everything she has.”
The judge told Brown to look at the poster of young Lotus, leading the man to break down crying.
Brown’s defense attorney said the incident was “out of character” for him, stating that Brown had no prior violent arrest and been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since being taken into custody.
Speaking at the sentencing, Brown apologized to both the court and Lotus’ family for getting behind the wheel that day.
“I’m so sorry for what happened,” Brown said. “I pray for you every day. I wish I never had a drink in my life, and I ask you to forgive me.”
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