HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - It was an unusual sentence handed down in a Henry County courtroom by Senior Judge Rusty Carlisle. The judge ordered 50-year-old Daniel Crane, of New Mexico, to carry a photo of the 18-year-old girl he killed in a tragic car accident in August of 2016.
"I was glad that he went above and beyond," Kim Lee, victim's mom said. "It gave us a little bit of comfort during the sentencing phase."
Crane pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of Lee. On top of the two-year sentence made up of 60 days in jail and probation, Carlise is requiring Crane to carry around the family's impact statement.
Henry County Police said Summer Lee was driving on Interstate 75 northbound near Georgia Highway 20 when she was struck by a tractor-trailer Crane was behind the wheel. Her car was then pushed into five other vehicles. She was killed in the crash. Authorities said seven other people were taken to Atlanta Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
"I miss her every day," Kim Lee said.
Judge Carlisle told FOX 5 via phone the reasoning behind the additional sentencing requirements for Crane.
"The victim's mom got up and read her impact statement forgiving the man who killed her daughter," Judge Carlise said. "It was moving...not a dry eye in the whole room."
"My faith tells me I must forgive him," the victim’s mother said. "If I ever want to see her again, I have to forgive. I also think Summer would have wanted me to forgive him."
Summer's death, nearing the one-year anniversary on August 20, six days after the victim's birthday.
Lee said she hopes Carlise's sentence will send a message across the country.
"Maybe other judges will start handing down sentences like this," Lee said. "You've got to try to find the good in every situation and maybe this is the little bit of good."