Danielle Taylor was 17-years-old when the car she was driving blew a tire and slammed into a vehicle driven by James Oliver, 67, at a stop light on Tara Boulevard. Witnesses said she was driving up to 70 mph on just three wheels.
Driver Involved In Crash Released From Prison
A jury acquitted Taylor of vehicular homicide, but convicted her of two other felonies. A judge sentenced her to 15 years in prison, five to serve. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.
Though Taylor was released after serving just two and half years, her mother Shon maintains the sentencing was too harsh.
"It did not involve drugs or alcohol, no hit and run. She didn't even get a speeding ticket," she said.
Taylor told Channel 2's Diana Davis that when she was behind bars, James Oliver's family was always in her thoughts.
"I want to reach out to them and let them know I'm sorry for everything that happened. I didn't mean for it to happen and I pray that one day they will forgive me," she said.
Taylor was a high school senior when the wreck occurred. She had completed three semesters at the University of Georgia with dreams of attending dental school. Now she wants to become a lawyer. "I have my life and I have a second chance to live it," she said.
She added she wants other teenage drivers to learn from her mistake.
"…This is something that could have been avoided had I been more aware or had I had more knowledge of it," Taylor said. Channel 2 was unable to reach James Oliver's widow for comment.