Roseville High School crash victim's father to drunk driver: I will forgive you
Kyle Kumbo convicted in crash that killed Julius Jones, injured 3 others
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – The father of a 19-year-old Roseville High School student who died in a crash on Groesbeck Highway in March said Thursday that he is forcing himself to forgive the drunk driver who caused it, because it's the only way he can move forward.
"I'm going to have to forgive you ... it's going to be hard, but I have to, because I have to move on," Julius Jones Sr. said, speaking to Kyle Kumbo at Kumbo's sentencing on Thursday.
Jones said he hopes Kumbo turns his life around.
"I just hope you take this day and honor yourself and do right," Jones said.
Jones' son, Julius Jr., was killed March 12 when Kumbo rear-ended the car the 19-year-old and three other friends were sitting in at a red light on Groesbeck Highway near 14 Mile Road in Fraser.
"I have to hold onto memories when I really want to just hold onto him," the 19-year-old's mother, Vicki Jones, said.
Police said Kumbo's blood alcohol at the time of the crash was 0.134. The legal limit in Michigan is 0.08.
Kumbo pleaded guilty to operating under the influence of alcohol causing death and operating while intoxicated causing an incapacitating injury.
"I will never forget what I did, and I will never repeat my mistake," Kumbo said in a statement, which was read in court by his attorney. "I was the only person who deserved to be hurt that night."
The mothers of two of the other victims who were in the car fought back tears during their victim impact statements.
"As a mother, there is no justice in the world for taking the life of one boy and injuring three others," said Tena Malone, whose 17-year-old son, Dante Carson, called her from the crash scene. "I ran through the police vehicles and ambulances to find my son. I found him crying hysterically."
Malone said her son has survivor's guilt.
“How can I forgive him when my son is waking up in the middle of the night screaming with nightmares?" she said.
Kenyata Davis, mother of 18-year-old Keyon Simmons, said her son suffered a brain injury as a result of the crash.
"My son suffers drastically ... he feels like he shouldn't be here any more," Davis said. "His dreams are crushed. Every day is struggle for him."
Judge Diane Druzinski sentenced Kumbo to 7 to 15 years in prison.
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