The day after a jury sentenced Julie Bronson, 45, to 10 years probation for running down a young mother and her two daughters, the mother criticized that verdict.
“I feel like the people that failed here were the jurors,” said Traci Lopez.
Lopez and her two daughters were seriously injured when Bronson, who admitted she’d had several glasses of wine and then taken the sleep aid Ambien, ran over them as they worked in their front yard.
When she heard the jury’s verdict as she sat in the courtroom, Lopez said, “I was in total disbelief. I was devastated."
Her youngest daughter, Ava, was just 18 months old when the accident happened on April 23, 2009. She suffered extensive brain damage and still is undergoing therapy.
“Her childhood has been taken from her. Her childhood is therapy and Ava will always suffer from this in some sort of way,” Lopez said Wednesday. “Ava is living Julie Bronson’s life sentence.”
Lopez said she is trying to remain positive and is focusing her energy into working on a nonprofit organization called Ava’s Wish that helps children with brain injuries.
“I feel like Ava is going to change many people’s lives. The legal system failed us ... the jury members failed us,” Lopez said. “But Ava will not fail us.”
Bronson is scheduled to return to court next month for formal sentencing.
At that time, Judge Melisa Skinner will have the option of sentencing her to six months in jail as a condition of her probation. Lopez said her hope is that Skinner will exercise that option.