GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A former nurse is making a public apology after causing a crash on Highway 316 while high on a powerful sedative.
Beverly Wilkins says as an anesthetist at Gwinnett Medical Center, she stole the drug propofol to make her sleep.
Wilkins said she hooked herself to an IV and administered stolen propofol in the parking lot as she coped with depression.
“Yes, I’ve been treated (for depression) since I was 17,” Wilkins said.
Now, she needs prescription pills to get to sleep in her Gwinnett County Jail cell.
“I never meant to hurt anyone. I did,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said she’s haunted by the crash she caused under the influence of the drug, which injured five people.
[You easily could've killed somebody that night, correct?]
“Yes,” Wilkins said.
[I mean you’re so blessed that didn't happen?]
“Yeah. Very blessed,” Wilkins said.
“She wanted to accept responsibility and was very anxious, too, and was rather upset that it took this long for us to get to a point where we could work out a plea,” said Wilkins’ defense attorney Alex Manning.
Manning said Wilkins was sentenced to three years in prison and 12 years on probation as a first offender after pleading guilty to five counts of serious injury by vehicle, plus other charges. The sentence was the result of driving the wrong way for three miles on Highway 316 in 2012.
“I was guilty. I know what I did,” Wilkins said.
Attorney Sarah Hobson represented Wilkins for the expected lawsuits.
“Beverly has made it clear throughout our representation of her on the civil side her main goal is that the victims and their families are fully compensated for their loss and their suffering,” Hobson said.
“I know there's no excuse for what I did and that maybe apologies aren't enough, but that they have my sincere apology for what they went through and what they’re going through now,” Wilkins said.
Manning said from the time she and law partner Holly Hughes first met with Wilkins in the hospital, she's had no recollection of how she wound up behind the wheel.
But Manning said she does not believe Wilkins, tortured by the recent death of her father, foresaw hurting anyone by the abuse of propofol, other than possibly herself.