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Grieving Mother's Message: Don't Drink and Drive
GALLOWAY (James Jackson) -- A Central Ohio mother has a strong message for drunk drivers, after her daughter was killed in a crash, while riding her bike home. Elissa Hatfield died in July, last year.
Lisa Lewis tells ABC 6/FOX 28 there's one thing she wants people to take away from her daughter's death: Don't drink and drive. She says it's left her without child and a toddler without a mother.
Little Layla, almost 2 years-old, shows affection for her mother's picture. But, she's so young, it's sometimes hard for her to remember. "Eventually she'll forget, which is very unfortunate. But, she still picks her out in pictures," Lewis said.
One of Elissa Hatfield's pictures hangs by her family's Christmas tree, inside her home. They got it in her honor. The ornaments, peace signs and her favorite colors, scarlet and gray. "She was super excited about her first Christmas with Layla, which unfortunately did not happen," Lewis said.
Didn't happen, after her life was cut short. Last July, police say Casey Hakes hit the 19 year-old, who was riding her bike on Fisher Road near Hilliard Rome. Officers believe he had been drinking before the crash. Hakes pleaded not guilty to an OVI charge and got 30 days in jail, fines, and a suspended license. "Was a little disappointed that he didn't get charged with her death. I was extremely unhappy with the entire investigation," Lewis said.
But, Hakes' attorney says according to the police report, Hatfield was at fault. That she failed to yield to oncoming traffic and that her toxicology report suggested she was impaired.
Now, a grieving family moves forward. Holding onto memories and passing them down to her daughter.
ABC 6/FOX 28 talked to Hakes' attorney tonight. He says his client is very distraught and feels horrible about the accident. Hakes had a lengthy history of OVI and earlier this year, he got another one, but the judge threw the case out.