A Georgia judge has ordered a man who killed a teenager in a tragic car crash last year to carry around a photo of the girl as part of his probation — a constant reminder of a young life ended far too soon.
Georgia judge Rusty Carlisle ordered Daniel Leigh Crane, 50, to carry a photo of Summer Lee, who was just 18 when she died in August 2016 after Crane hit her SUV and pushed her car into five other vehicles, as Inside Edition reported.
As part of Crane’s probation after 60 days in jail, he will be carrying Summer’s photo as well as the statement that her mother, Kim Lee, read at his sentencing last month, the outlet noted.
The sentence came down after Crane pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. Carlisle said he was incredibly moved by a statement Lee read at the sentencing.
“The victim’s mom got up and read her impact statement forgiving the man who killed her daughter,” Carlisle told WAGA-TV. “It was moving … not a dry eye in the whole room.”
In the end, the judge said that the decision wasn’t made in an effort to “humiliate the man” and that he thought it would, instead, “let the family at ease.” Plus, he said it serves as a powerful reminder of what unfolded.
“It may stay folded in his pocket and he may never look at it,” Carlisle told the Associated Press. “But if he knows he’s got to pick it up every morning and put it in the pocket of whatever clothes he wears, then maybe that will make him think a little bit about what happened.”
Lee did say that the photo mandate was comforting to her and the family.
“I was glad that he went above and beyond,” Kim Lee, Summer’s mom, told WAGA-TV. “It gave us a little bit of comfort during the sentencing phase.”
Lee also said that she knows she must forgive Carlisle, as her faith instructs her to, adding that she believes her daughter would have also wanted her to do so.
“If I ever want to see her again, I have to forgive,” she said. “I also think Summer would have wanted me to forgive him.”