In December, state senator Suzanne Williams got into a crash in Texas that killed Brianna Gomez, who was seven months pregnant; the baby survived. Her attorney, David Lane, argued that the accident, while tragic, shouldn't result in an indictment against Williams, and this month, a grand jury agreed. In the end, she only faces three misdemeanor traffic violations.
The reported tally includes two tickets related to her grandson, who was ejected from her Honda in the crash, as was his dad, Todd Williams -- having an unsecured passenger under age seventeen and a child under eight unsecured by a car seat. (Todd Williams was also ticketed for not wearing a seat belt.) In addition, she was cited for driving on the wrong side of the highway, which led directly to the crash.
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Williams, known for vigorously backing child-restraint safety laws in Colorado, claimed not to remember the collision; afterward, she is said to have placed her grandson in a car seat prior to the arrival of the Texas State Patrol. In a previous interview, attorney Lane argued that such a blank spot isn't unusual. He said Hartley County District Attorney David Green, who ultimately asked a grand jury to decide if there was enough evidence for criminal charges, "used to be a cop down in Texas, and he's investigated countless numbers of auto wrecks like this -- so he understands that with severe trauma like this, it's not at all uncommon to have no memory shortly before and after an accident like this. And that's where we're at.
"For me, the main issue in the case is whether or not every human tragedy must have criminal charges that go with it," he maintained. "And sometimes, there are just human tragedies."
Lane added that "people's knee-jerk reaction is that it's her fault, that she did something wrong. But the evidence is unclear as to what happened other than what we know happened -- that this is an incredible tragedy. And it's an incredible tragedy from Suzanne Williams's perspective, too."