Seven years ago, one family’s life changed forever after a drunk driver crashed into a vehicle and left a 5-year-old girl paralyzed.
The driver claimed he turned his life around, but now he’s back in jail for another DUI charge following a second crash.
“We're all heartbroken, livid, mad at the system,” said Stephanie Rutherford.
Rutherford is a mother who’s having to relive the nightmare of the evening her daughter almost died.
Her sister and 5-year-old daughter, Emily, were airlifted to the hospital after the head-on crash with the drunk driver, later identified as Kristopher Colbert.
Emily nearly lost her life, and as a result of the crash, she lost her ability to walk.
“She's in a wheelchair all the time,” Rutherford said. “We have therapy twice a week.”
Colbert was reportedly intoxicated behind the wheel that night. After he was released from prison, he met Rutherford, apologized, and agreed to teach children about the dangers of drunk driving with Rutherford.
NewsChannel 5 was there for their first class together two years ago.
However, two years later, Colbert is back in jail for another DUI after he was arrested in Todd County, Kentucky.
“He didn't learn his lesson,” Rutherford said. “He was given another chance, and Emily wasn’t.”
Colbert was arrested on June 17 and charged with DUI after being involved in a crash. Thankfully no one was injured.
Rutherford said she hopes the system can be changed so another family doesn't have to go through this type of heartache.
“She is still paralyzed. She is still struggling every day,” Rutherford said. “She didn't get a second chance. He did, and he wasted it.”
Colbert was originally sentenced to eight years in prison but was released for good behavior after five and a half years for his first DUI offense.
When he was arrested in Todd County, he told deputies he swerved to avoid hitting a deer.