Charges Filed Against Man Who Hit And Killed 6-Year-Old

Tuesday, June 26th 2007, 9:04 pm
By: News On 6

Charges were filed Tuesday afternoon against the driver who hit and killed 6-year-old Jessalyn Sanders last month. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports Justin Piersall now faces negligent homicide and driving under suspension charges for that accident.

"I'm relieved to know there will be justice done for what he did do,” said Jessalyn Sanders’ mother Donna Sanders.

While providing some relief, Donna Sanders says the fact that Justin Piersall will face negligent homicide and driving under suspension charges is bittersweet.

She feels he deserves to be in jail, but knows it won't bring her daughter back.

"Maybe taking away his freedom for it, he will feel just a touch of the pain that he's brought onto all of us that will never go away,” said Donna Sanders. “She will never get it out her head, seeing her sister hurt like that."

Justin Piersall was behind the wheel May 29 when Jessalyn Sanders was hit while following her older sister across Independence Avenue. He told police he was reaching for his cell phone and did not see the 6-year-old.

After the charges were filed Tuesday, a warrant was issued and Justin Piersall was arrested. Police say they found him hiding in his attic.

Since the accident, Donna Sanders says life has been a nightmare for her entire family. Even everyday events like shopping have become almost unbearable.

"When I go to the grocery store, I cry,” Donna Sanders said. “I see strawberry milk, her favorite thing in the world to drink. I know I'll never make that for her again."

And while Jessalyn Sanders’ death was an accident, Donna Sanders feels Justin Piersall's negligence caused it. She also believes Tuesday's arrest is what Jessalyn Sanders would have wanted.

"I know that she would want something done,” she said. “I know she would. She's just that type. She didn't like to see people hurt."

Donna Sanders says she will continue to serve as a 'voice' for her daughter. She would like to see talking on cell phones while driving banned in Oklahoma.

She plans on pressuring state lawmakers to get that law changed.

Watch the video: Man Who Hit And Killed 6-Year-Old Faces Negligent Homicide Charges