UPDATE: Woman sentenced to ten years for fatal DUI crash
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- After a year of pain and loss, Judge Carroll Ross helped the Ledford family finally close a chapter in one of the worst moments of their lives.
"This is closure as far as this part goes. It is just another chapter of our lives," says Kim Ledford.
July 10, 2010, 24-year-old Dustin Ledford was driving home from the grocery store around midnight when a car speeding down APD 40 in the wrong direction struck him head on.
The car was driven by Tiffany Isaza and police say she was intoxicated, nearly twice the legal limit, and high on meth.
"When they hit they spun around and she went there and that's where he went," says Danny Ledford, Dustin's father.
Dustin Ledford would later die from his injuries.
Kim Ledford's phone rang late that night and she couldn't fathom the message on the other line.
"It is a terrible phone call and one I never want any parent to receive. One that says your child has succumbed to his injuries," says Kim Ledford, Dustin's mother.
Friends remembered Dustin at his former employer, Shane's Rib Shack, even dedicating a plaque in his honor.
A year later, his death is still heavy on his co-workers minds.
"After we knew we didn't want to believe it. We were in complete shock," says Ashley Boyd.
Dustin's mother says since the incident she has been pushing for legislation entitled "Dustin's Law" that would give stiffer penalties to drunk drivers.
In court, during sentencing, she said her lasting words to the woman who carelessly took her sons life.
"Dustin was the greatest joy I had," Kim Ledford said. "He was such a wonderful child and pleasure to raise."
Isaza who watched emotionless at times would later breakdown, after taking the stand.
She prepared a statement asking the judge and family for forgiveness.
Isaza said, "If I could take Dustin's place I would not argue."
The Ledfords say their mission to put to the brakes on drunk driving isn't retaliation, but only what Dustin would want them to do.
Ledford's mother is pushing for a bill named Dustin's Law, it's similar to Laura's Law in North Carolina.
It's named after Laura Fortenberry who was killed by a repeat DUI offender last year.
The bill requires mandatory jail time for repeat offenders, longer periods of ankle monitoring, and it forces more violators to have to serve all of their time, instead of reduced sentences.