Kimberly Graham Says Crash Wasn't Her Fault

Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 4:47 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- In a stunning move Wednesday afternoon, a woman accused killing five people in a hit-and-run took the stand in her defense.

Kimberly Graham admitted to killing the five people, but says the crash wasn't her fault.

The announcement drew audible gasps from the courtroom.

"Oh my gosh, I can't believe she's going up there," said Korrie Young, the daughter of two of the victims.

Family members say they were prepared for her not to utter a word. Instead, she testified for 45 minutes.

"I lied to everybody for a year," Graham said. "Now, this is the first time my family is hearing the truth."

Graham says she was not intoxicated and that she knew immediately she hit people. She called the crash "an unavoidable accident."

"I saw this person jump up from underneath my car," she said. "I hear a guy going 'Stop! Stop!' and I hit the brakes, but there were all these people and all I could do was go 'Oh my God! Oh my God!'"

Young lost her parents, Deanna and Ronny Coatney, in the crash.

"This just brings me back to a year and a half ago when everything happened," Young said. "I mean, I'm 19 years old, and I have no parents."

Bobbi Nickel, the sister of another victim, was also in attendance.

"It's extremely hard to hear the blame tried to be off-set and put onto the victims that were out there trying to help someone," Nickel said.

Prosecutors questioned why she would flee from an accident if she wasn't drunk. Most damaging, they played a tape recording from jail where she says to a friend, "Even if I was sober, it would have been hard to see those people."

Graham also told the court she overestimated how many beers she drank that night.

Prosecutors questioned why she's changing her story after 16 months. Graham's trial wraps up tomorrow.

3/10/2009  Related Story: Testimony Begins In Kimberly Graham Trial