McKeesport, Pa. — After five months of waiting for justice, a McKeesport family is one step closer to getting it.
“I’m 75 years old. I want some justice for my child,” Dorothy Huston told Channel 11.
It’s the first holiday season she will spend without her daughter, Levona Hawkins.
“I loved her so much. So much,” Huston said.
Back in July, Hawkins died in a car crash near Crawford Village in McKeesport.
Hawkins’ boyfriend, Eric Oliver, was behind the wheel, and is now charged in her death.
“We were trying to find every reason not to be thankful for Thanksgiving, and we are thankful at least there is some progression,” Levona’s daughter, Tammerica Hawkins, said.
According to investigators, Oliver knew the brakes on his 2003 GMC Yukon barely worked, and drove it anyway with Levona in the passenger seat.
Oliver reportedly told detectives that on the day of the crash, he noticed the brakes felt “funny,” and weren’t slowing the SUV. Police say Oliver drove over a hillside and into a fence to stop the moving SUV.
Levona was thrown from the vehicle.
“My mom sustained very tragic injuries because of this. Ultimately that’s what caused her death. It was very tragic,” Tammerica Hawkins said.
Detectives say they spoke to a mechanic who Oliver went to a month before the crash. The mechanic allegedly told Oliver that he recommended having the vehicle towed because it was too unsafe to be driven. He added that Oliver could be killed if he attempted to drive it.
“Do I think there was negligence? I do. Yes. I’m a car owner, I operate a vehicle, and I’m aware of PA state laws on running a vehicle,” Tammerica Hawkins added.
While Levona’s family is thankful to investigators that a warrant has been issued, they won’t stop fighting for justice until he’s behind bars.
“I’m going to see this through. This lives with us forever. So we have to live with the consequences of this, and not having her here forever,” Tammerica Hawkins said.
Oliver is charged with a number of charges, including vehicular homicide.