Montreal woman asks drunk driver who hit her to join her in speaking at schools
CTVNews.ca staff, with a report from CTV National News reporter Vanessa Lee
Published Sunday, January 13, 2019 10:00PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2019 2:17PM EST
A Montreal woman shocked the court at a sentencing hearing for a man convicted of hitting her while driving under the influence – not only forgiving him, but asking for his help.
Back in June of 2015, Tina Adams was out jogging near her Montreal home, when a car swerved off the road and hit her.
Now, more than three years later, she’s still recovering.
The crash left her with a cracked skull, a traumatic brain injury, a fractured spine, and blood clots.
“I’ve undergone 19 surgeries and I live through pain and suffering every single day,” Adams told CTV Montreal. “Not only has he impacted the last three and half years, but the rest of my life.”
Adams says that her dreams of being a police officer were taken away from her, and that she may never be able to have children as a result of her injuries.
Since then, she’s become an advocate for road safety, travelling to schools to talk about her experience and the dangers of impaired driving.
Jordan Taylor, then 22 years old, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm. His sentencing hearing took place on Jan. 9.
Able to address Adams for the first time since the accident, Taylor took the opportunity to tell Adams how remorseful he was for causing the accident.
"I made a big mistake to drive my car that day, and I'll never forget how much this hurt you, Tina," he said in court.
To the surprise of the court, and her family, Adams asked Taylor to join her in visiting schools, to talk about the impact impaired driving can have.
Even more surprisingly, he agreed immediately.
Adams says she had been thinking of asking Taylor to join her for a long time, but wanted to see if he showed empathy for what he had done.
“I think it would make a huge impact on students in schools,” Adams told reporters. “When I’m speaking it has a really big impact, and I’m sure with also the guy who did this to me it will have an even bigger impact.”
It’s expected that the visits would occur after Taylor has served his time behind bars.
The crown and the defense submitted a joint sentencing suggestion, recommending an eight-month sentence for Taylor.
While Adams says she forgives Taylor, she and her family would like to see a longer sentence, as well as community service afterwards.
“I’m hoping he really did learn from what he did to me,” Adams said.
Taylor will be sentenced on Jan. 29.