Tuscaloosa County mother speaks out after 3-year-old son killed in 2018 car crash

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa County mother is speaking out for the first time since her 3-year-old son was killed in a car accident in October 2018. 

“I just want to get Jacob’s case resolved, and I want justice for my son,” Diera Jones said.

Jones says she is frustrated that it’s been almost three years since her son’s death and the person responsible has not gone to trial.

“She turned in the wrong lane and was speeding and hit me and Jacob from behind and separated me and my son. And it was very devastating and traumatizing,” Jones said.

Jones and her son were both struck by a minivan while walking to her car in the parking lot at University Mall in Tuscaloosa in 2018. Police charged the driver of the vehicle, 72-year-old Carolyn Ritchie, with criminally negligent homicide.  

“Jacob was my only child, he brought joy to my life and for my only child to be taken away from me in a senseless accident has brought sadness and grief and not understanding how that happened,” Jones said.

Assistant Chief District Attorney Paula Whitley says the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office has hundreds of cases that are backed up waiting for trials because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says her office is doing everything possible to give families close sure and justice.

“We do want the citizens of this county and all the victims to know that we have not stopped working on their cases.  It is very important for us to seek justice in every case,” Whitley said.

Jones has filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Ritchie. A trial date has not been set.

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