She was a woman who loved God, gardening and her six grandchildren. And even at 81 years old, Joyce Parsons still had so much life to live.
“I've never seen her do anything but kind works for the people, animals and friends in the neighborhood,” said her daughter-in-law, Holly Parsons.
Joyce Parsons, her brother and two out-of-state relatives were out seeing the sights around Puget Sound on August 7 when a car crash changed things forever.
Police say Kelly Ann Hudson, a neighbor, crossed the center line and hit them head-on, killing Parsons and critically injuring the other three. Police also say she admitted to drinking wine and taking the antidepressant Celexa before getting behind the wheel.
For the past month, Hudson has been in jail, fighting for her right to bail out. On Monday, prosecutors accepted a deal with the defense, agreeing to cut her bail in half - to $250,000. Soon she'll be home with her family.
Joyce Parson’s son, Keith, is incredulous.
“The people she hit after she got in a car and drove after she was drunk don't have that option,” he said.
“We still have to drive past her house every day to go deal with my dead mother-in-law's place,” said his wife Holly.
The family does take pity on Hudson's three children, who must also suffer for their mother's alleged actions. Actions, the Parsons say, that could have cost much more.
“That was the family minivan Hudson was driving,” said Keith. “Her kids were lucky.”
If convicted under the state’s new stricter sentencing guidelines, Kelly Hudson faces up to 16 years in prison.
The three crash survivors are all recovering but some may now be forced into assisted living.