SEATTLE -- A Kirkland woman will spend more than a decade in prison for being under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs when her car hit a family. The crash killed Joyce Parsons and severely injured three other family members.
On Friday, Kelly Ann Hudson, 44, tearfully apologized for the August 2012 crash, but her words seemed to have little impact on the family of her victims.
When Hudson first faced a judge on charges last year, she told the court she was absolutely not guilty. Family members of the victims said it felt like a slap in the face. On Friday, they met again in a courtroom with a far different outcome.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and I will pray every day for the rest of my life for these people and the community,” Hudson told the court. “I understand there’s no apology that will bring Joyce Parsons back or reduce the loss and the pain and suffering.”
It was the apology family members say they’d been waiting 15 months to hear.
“If I could, I would be where Joyce is and she could be here,” said Hudson.
After pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and assault charges, Hudson told the court she regretted getting behind the wheel of her minivan while under the influence of a prescription drug and alcohol.
Hudson does not have a criminal history and her attorneys asked for leniency, but the family wanted the maximum sentence.
“Our fear is that if she doesn’t get the maximum to review her life, she will go out and hurt somebody else again,” said John Kamm, victims’ family member.
The judge responded with 130 months, more than a decade in prison - a sentence just shy of the maximum. Outside the courtroom, family members said Hudson’s apology had little impact.
“To be honest it seemed a little scripted. It didn’t strike me one way or the other,” said Keith Parson. “I think she’s sorry she’s going to jail for almost 11 years.”
Hudson told the court when she is released from prison, she plans to dedicate her life to preventing these kinds of accidents.
The judge agreed and ordered her to work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving on that mission.
KING 5's Amy Moreno and Liza Javier contributed to this report.