April 22, 2008
An Albemarle County cement truck driver has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and will spend 30 days in jail for the accidental death of Jessica Lester.
There were tears from almost everyone in the courtroom as Jessica’s husband and her parents read emotional statements about how much her death has affected them but one person showed little emotion the man accused of her death.
Isaiah Lester and his family gripped this photograph as they told the court their lives were changed forever.
“I wanted him to see her face and I hope he remembers her and remembers when he is on the road again,” Jessica’s husband Isaiah Lester.
Remembers he took the life of 25 year old Jessica Lester that day last June when William Sprouse decided to speed down Route 53 in a cement truck.
“I do have great compassion for him. I would not want to be in his shoes,” said Jessica’s mother Jeanne Scott.
Witnesses say the truck rounded a corner on two wheels, flipped and rolled over onto Lester's car, a crushing sixty thousand pounds landing where Jessica sat.
“He won't be operating a heavy vehicle again,” said Lester.
In exchange for an involuntary manslaughter guilty plea, Sprouse will lose his commercial driver's license for life and spend 30 days in jail. “It’s probably not enough but the streets will be safer than to have him sit in jail for a while and come out and still be able to operate a heavy vehicle,” said Lester.
What Lester's family really wanted was an apology. “I'm quite shocked at this day in age you can't get an ‘I’m sorry’ or be responsible for your actions,” said Lester.
And even after the family read statements in court saying they forgave Sprouse, Sprouse said nothing.
“A forced I'm sorry...but for him to say nothing just shows maybe he didn't care about what happened,” said Lester
Lester's family plans to file a civil suit against the driver's company, allied concrete. They tell me allied was at the scene of the accident spray painting their name off the truck minutes after the accident.
Jessica’s mother says she would also like to see some changes on Route 53 and ban commercial vehicles from driving that road.
Jessica’s family has set up a memorial fund in Jessica’s name to provide scholarships for new nurses. For more information on how you can donate go to www.jessicalestermemorialfund.com