VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The man who pleaded guilty to a DUI crash that killed a Great Bridge High School senior and severely injured another last year was sentenced to 47 years in prison Monday.
Jerode Johnson has been behind bars since the May 2017 crash. Police say he was drunk and high on drugs when he lost control of the furniture truck he was driving, hitting Kaitlyn Duffy’s vehicle head on.
Duffy, who was only weeks away from graduating high school, died from her injuries. Her passenger, Sabrina Mundorff, was severely injured but survived the crash.
News 3's Allison Mechanic was in the courtroom when the judge handed down the sentence. It was the heaviest sentence a judge could have handed down.
There were tears on both sides: Duffy's and Mundorff's family members cried tears of joy while Johnson's family cried tears of sadness.
The girls' families shared how big of an impact the crash had on them. Johnson's family also took the stand explaining that he isn’t a monster and that he never meant any harm.
Johnson also addressed the court and apologized for his actions.
He says he thinks about the crash every single day.