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Tuscaloosa County mother upset by pace of court case regarding her son’s death

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Diera Jones has experienced the pain of being hit by a car as well as the pain of losing a child from the crash.

Now, she calls waiting for the driver to go to trial, an additional burden.

“I have been waiting for justice for my son for two and a half years,” Jones told WBRC Thursday.

Diera Jones called waiting for her day in court almost as bad the terrible accident that cost Jones her three year-old son Jacob Jones.

They were walking in the parking lot of University Mall in 2018 when they were hit by a driver.

“Miss Ritchie turned in the wrong lane and hit me and my son from behind. She hit us so hard that it separated us. Me and my son was holding hands. I ended up on one side of the road and Jacob ended up on the other side of the road,” explained during an interview.

Jacob died from his injuries.

The driver, 72 year-old Carolyn Ritchie, was charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Since the accident, the case has taken longer to go to trial because Ritchie had a stroke and from other delays.

The Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb issued a statement:

“We focus mightily on public safety and we are sad for Ms. Jones and her terrible loss. That’s why we had more than 20 meetings or discussions with Ms. Jones about the case and its progress.  Understanding any victim’s upset, pain and need for vindication, we strive for speedy effective and just resolutions of cases. We cleared the grand jury backlog and are working constantly to decrease the pending case numbers. Our lawyers are working hard, with average felony caseloads in excess of 500 each, and they are attacking the 4000-plus felony and misdemeanor cases currently pending in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court. I’m very proud of our lawyers who are doing this and other hard work and the staff who so capably support them.”

Jones feels the situation has not been fair to her and her family and would like to finally have her son’s day in court.

“This is very important to me because my son died of senseless accident,” she concluded.

Court documents indicate that Ritchie could appear in court before the end of this month and go to trial in June.

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