CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — An Atlanta teen has been sentenced to 36 months probation in a 2017 crash that killed three pedestrians, including an infant.
Zoe Reardon, 18, entered the plea to misdemeanor charges Monday morning, with her attorney saying she did not want to put the victims’ families through a trial.
Reardon could have faced 36 months behind bars. Instead, she will serve the probation and check-in from Texas where she currently attends college.
She’ll also get her license back after a year, pay fines and donate to a foundation centered around combating distracted driving.
Under first-offender status, her record will be cleared when she completes the sentence.
"You're pretty young," state court Judge Alan Jordan told Reardon during sentencing. "You've got a lifetime ahead of you. I expect this is something you're going to have a hard time dealing with the rest of your life."
Cherokee County authorities initially closed the case against Reardon with no charges, but it was reopened in the midst of civil litigation against the City of Woodstock, where the group died. It’s centered around a lack of pedestrian measures in place around an entertainment pavilion where the victims were headed to see a concert.
Reardon has maintained she never saw the group crossing the road that evening, and her defense has highlighted forensics to punctuate this was not a distracted driving case.
“I want to take this opportunity to say how truly sorry I am,” Reardon cried, ahead of her sentencing.
The victims included hurricane evacuees Kaitlin Hunt and her 3-month-old daughter, Riley, along with a family friend, 61-year-old Kathy Deming.
This week would have marked Hunt’s 30th birthday, as loved ones from both families pleaded with Jordan to hand down the toughest sentence possible.
"It's ridiculous to say they walked out in front of you. That didn't happen, and you know it didn't happen," Kathy's widower, Mike Deming, said as he looked directly at Reardon during an impact statement.
There were 20 minutes of memorial video montages played in court as photos of the victims chronicled their lives.
Cox Media Group