I have often heard that there is no greater sorrow than a parent mourning the death of their child. I can only hope and pray it never happens again – yet it happens every day.
How could you live with yourself if you knew that you were the cause of your child’s death? Melissa Shonvette Johnson will have to live with her decision to drink and drive on a night that it cost her 14-year-old daughter, Daquasha her life. This according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The 33-year-old Johnson was driving her four children when she crashed her car. Three children (10, 11, and 16) suffered minor injuries. The fourth lost her life. Johnson will spend the next 10 years away from her family and behind bars.
Johnson pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter of a child, a first-degree felony, and was convicted and taken into custody. She was also barred from ever holding a driver's license. Prosecutors agreed to drop two lesser charges.
In the accident, the car flipped, and she and 14-year-old daughter Daquasha were ejected.
Johnson's blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.24 — three times the legal limit for driving. A hospital test put registered even higher: 0.30.
Johnson, while at the hospital recovering from serious injuries admitted she had been drinking Crown Royal Canadian whiskey and coke. When pressed further it turned out she was not talking about Coca-Cola, but cocaine. So in addition to having a BAC of .30, she was also loaded on cocaine. Good Lord!
What a horrible tragedy that did not have to happen. Florida needs stronger alcohol education. While in jail she surely will have the opportunity to get counseling for her addictions. Perhaps she can come out of this a sober person. But her life will never be complete knowing what she did.