MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - For the first time since a youth counselor charged in a wrong way crash pleaded guilty to driving drunk, the family of the victim she hit and killed is speaking out.
Sabrina Rodriguez said coming to grips with the drunk driving accident that killed her mother has been unbearable. She can't understand how the woman responsible for crash can live with herself.
"Knowing that she's not going to be here or coming over to my house on Christmas and seeing her grand kids or anything like that and it's just, it's very hard," she said.
For Rodriguez, the holidays hasn't been the same without her mother Sheila Ellard.
Last week, Action News 5 learned Kelli Isaac, a youth counselor, charged in a the crash that killed Ellard, pleaded guilty to driving drunk. but Isaac will not face manslaughter charges.
It's a deal that has Rodriguez concerned.
"If that's in fact what did happen, with her just pleading guilty to a DUI charge and paying - supposedly she paid a thousand dollars or whatever she did pay. That's just hearsay. I didn't hear that for sure, but that's like saying my mother's life was only worth that much," said Rodriguez. "My mother's life is priceless."
On November 8, the Youth Villages counselor was driving westbound in the eastbound lane of I-40 near the new bridge when she hit a pickup truck, killing Ellard.
Rodriguez said Ellard's death still seems unreal.
"I have Christmas stuff that my mother bought from a lady that works in our home office," she said. "I walk in the office everyday and it's like she ought to be sitting there looking at the stuff we've put out for her and she's not here."
However, Rodriguez said she and her family will continue to fight for justice.
Kelli Isaac is due back in court on December 29 in Crittenden County.