DUI Victim Willing To Forgive Drunk Driver - KMSP-TV

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DUI Victim Willing To Forgive Drunk Driver

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PHILADELPHIA -

James Duggan was sentenced to 4 and a half to 9 years in state prison, plus a year of probation, after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a vehicle, while driving under the influence.

The sentence was not a surprise.

The shock, was his victim's reaction.

32 year old Kyla Possinger still suffers the aches and pains that remind her of why she was headed to court Friday morning.

That she was there at all, was something of a miracle.

"I've heard from so many nurses and from the physicians and the surgeons that, they are not sure how I lived," explained Kyla.

Last July 11th, a drunk James Duggan pulled out of a MacDade Boulevard bar, and into the path of Possinger's motorcycle.

The impact threw her over his vehicle, and she landed flat on her back, just about every bone that could be broken, was.

"There are still profound differences in my life that will not go away," she explained in her victim impact statement.

These differences include months of rehab, three operations, with a fourth likely, and a body full of pins, rods and screws that react painfully with each change in the weather.

Possinger soon learned Duggan's DUI was his tenth.

In fact, he was out on bail from number 9 at the time of the accident.

So you might expect she would come to court screaming for blood.

You would be wrong.

"You have to forgive people. Regardless. Because I know the intent was not, by any means, to pull out and hit me, I know he did not mean to do that, but accidents do happen," said Kyla.

In court, Duggan called himself an alcoholic, insisted he is not the monster his DUI record suggests, and apologized to Kyla and her family, tearfully and repeatedly.

When the sentencing was over, Kyla reached out to comfort his family.

"There's a lot of people hurt in this whole process, and I think I need to take into consideration that I'm not the only one," she explained.

Kyla says she thinks about the crash every day, as she applies cream to her scarred shoulder and ankle.

But her initial anger and bitterness are gone.

"I think it's an easy choice. When you are upset or angry about things, you aren't well," she began, "it's okay. I'm fine. I'm going to be okay. I think I'm gonna be okay."

Kyla was an athlete prior to the accident.

Last month she participated in a cross-fit competition, and next month, on the anniversary of her near-fatal crash, she'll attempt another.

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