Amanda Griffiths continue to remembers when her son Dana arrived to see her even though driving his motorcycle all around the spot, experiencing his working day off and browsing household.
“I’m blessed that I got to see my my child boy,” she mentioned. “I bought a incredibly massive hug, not realizing it would be the previous hug.”
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Griffiths was talking in a Portage County Court of Prevalent Pleas courtroom Monday all through the sentencing for Jermaine D. McGee Jr., the guy responsible for her son’s loss of life in a crash that day on July 5, 2021.
McGee analyzed beneficial for cannabis following the crash, in accordance to courtroom information.
“I feel if he wasn’t impaired, he would have made a improved choice,” she mentioned
Decide Laurie Pittman sentenced McGee to four to 6 many years in jail. The optimum he could have gotten was eight to 12 several years plus 180 days. She also suspended his driving privileges for existence.
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Streetsboro law enforcement reported they responded soon after receiving a contact for the crash in the location where by Interstate 480 and state Route 14 meet at about 11:30 p.m. McGee, now 26, of Cincinnati, built an illegal U-switch whilst eastbound in a Honda Civic and into the path of a westbound motorbike ridden by Dana A. Griffiths, 22.
Griffiths, who police claimed was putting on a helmet, collided with the auto.
A helicopter flew Griffiths to University Hospitals Cleveland Healthcare Center, exactly where he died the future working day.Griffiths was the father of two boys, ages 3 and 1.
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McGee was not hurt.
McGee pleaded guilty in September to second-degree felony aggravated vehicular assault and operating a car or truck less than the impact.
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Prosecutor Eric Finnegan and family associates who spoke through the listening to requested the most sentence.
“I do not think 8 several years is good,” stated Madison Necas, Griffiths’ fiancee and the mom of Griffiths’ youthful son.
Pittman said she took into account a amount of factors in selecting the sentence, like the simple fact that McGee pleaded guilty, sparing the household a demo, and his lack of a prior felony file.
She reported she also regarded video clips McGee posted on social media in the rapid aftermath of the crash that Griffiths’ cherished ones and Finnegan explained they believed showed a absence of regret for the reason that they concentrated on McGee and his absence of injuries. Pittman was vital of these video clips and asked McGee why he posted them.
“I did not know it was as major as it was,” he replied. “I didn’t realize his life was on the line.”
‘Dana was my soul’
Amanda Griffiths said Dana was the youngest of her 3 youngsters.
“Dana was a attractive soul on this earth,” she claimed. “He realized compassion and dignity. He was quite empathetic and he had a charming personalty. He was straightforward to appreciate. He never ever asked for a lot ever. Simplest child to elevate. He was a peacemaker. He could make buddies with nearly any person.”
She spoke of the discomfort when her son was taken off the ventilator and died and the preparations to have his organs donated, anything he required.
“He experienced quite a few relatives and buddies appear to the healthcare facility to say their goodbyes,” she claimed.
Brenda Tawney, Griffiths’ grandmother said she desired to instruct McGee a handful of points.
“I want to introduce a several phrases to his vocabulary: Patience. Selflessness. Deprivation,” she claimed.
She explained McGee could have turned close to at a nearby fuel station.
“You would not be sitting down here,” she reported. “We would not be dealing with this. We’d still have our beloved Dana.”
Tawney explained items may have been distinct if McGee experienced assumed about other people, such as who might be coming from the reverse route.
“Try wondering of others in advance of having impulsive actions,” reported Tawney.
Necas explained that night time, Griffiths still left property to go get well his cell cellphone, which experienced fallen off his motorcycle when he was riding previously.
“Dana’s very last phrases to me had been, ‘I adore you’ and ‘I’ll be proper again.’ But he hardly ever came back again,” she stated.
Griffiths had situated the telephone with GPS only minutes absent from house. About an hour afterwards, a neighbor supplied to push her to the phone’s site just after acquiring her exterior worrying that he even now hadn’t appear home. They arrived on the crash scene.
“When I saw his bike, it seemed like my heart stopped and was going a million miles all at after,” she stated.
She remembers when she read at the medical center the terms “unsurvivable brain injury.”
“When I heard them, my globe stopped and it hasn’t begun spinning since,” Necas mentioned. “He was not just my fiance and the father of my son, he was my life time very best mate. Dana was my soul.”
Necas explained that as difficult as the loss is to her, at the very least she has memories of him.
“Our son, nevertheless, has to stay his complete daily life not knowing what it is really like to be hugged by his dad,” she stated. “He’s not heading to remember how his daddy’s facial area lit up each time he observed him,” said Necas.
In a prepared assertion browse in court, Nicole Griffiths, Dana’s older sister, wrote about the shut bond she experienced constantly shared with him from his birth and that they were confidantes, “realizing every other’s secrets and techniques.”
“From the moment Dana was introduced residence, we grew connected at the hip,” she wrote.
She claimed he was hardworking and could often be counted on to assistance, whether spouse and children, mates or neighbors, such as the time a large tree fell on her home.
“He was the to start with individual to clearly show up and the initially particular person to get on the roof and get to function,” she reported.
The day he died, he experienced visited her and took her on a bike experience simply because he realized she was in “a slump” and he preferred to help her feel greater.
“Tiny did I know his existence would be taken very too soon,” she reported.
She reported when she bought the simply call that her brother had been in a crash, at first she told herself that he would survive for the reason that he was “tough” and “sturdy willed.” Then when she acquired a 2nd simply call that she needed to get to the healthcare facility in Cleveland, she used the drive praying and pleading for her brother’s lifetime.
“Getting rid of my brother changed my life. It took a substantial toll on me,” she explained. “Jermaine failed to just conclusion the life of just one individual. He shattered the lifetime of tons of people today who liked my brother.”
McGee to victim’s spouse and children: ‘I’m terribly sorry for your loss’
McGee, talking soon after Griffiths’ loved ones members, apologized to them in a created statement that he browse.
“I am terribly sorry for your loss, grief and discomfort,” he said. “My coronary heart and soul aches, not only for the young man’s lifestyle, but for his spouse and children.”
He claimed he typically thoughts why it was not him that died in the crash, specially because Griffiths had youngsters.
“I hope the spouse and children can come across peace and can a person day forgive me,” he reported. “I settle for entire duty for my actions.”
McGee, who had been facing Pittman, with his again to Griffiths’ family members in the gallery, concluded by apologizing once more.
“I want you to face the family and convey to them that,” reported Pittman.
Turning all over, McGee reported, “I am so incredibly sorry.”
Paul Siegferth, an lawyer filling in for McGee’s attorney through the sentencing, stated that McGee cooperated with the investigation and turned himself in when he learned there was a warrant for his arrest. He reported McGee experienced “zero prison record” prior to the crash and he had been a “successful member of modern society” with a entire-time career.
“There was no malice that night. This was an accident,” said Siegferth. “That evening, he experienced just concluded a 10-hour push. He manufactured a determination, he designed numerous choices, that came to a deadly incident.”
As element of a plea deal, further rates in a grand jury indictment and a supplemental indictment ended up dismissed, like 1st-diploma felony aggravated vehicular homicide, a 2nd OVI demand, very first-degree misdemeanor driving less than suspension, and minor misdemeanor failure to generate appropriate of way.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be achieved at [email protected]