Sentencing in fatal 7-11 crash
The woman whose careless driving caused the death of 18-year-old Westsider Whitney Hendrickson last March has been sentenced to five years probation, loss of
driving privileges for four years, ongoing mental health treatment and certain other conditions.
According to police investigators, Kelli Renae McKay accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal as she drove a Ford Explorer across the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at 15th Street and Colorado Avenue. As a result, she was traveling at a speed of 12 to 15 mph when her vehicle rammed into a Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck parked at the gas pumps. The impact drove the truck into the pump that Hendrickson was using to fill her Honda minivan. The pump came loose and spilled gas that caught fire. Pinned between the pump and her car, Hendrickson could not escape.
The sentencing, which includes no jail time, was at the request of the family, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Frederick Stein.
After four years, McKay can get a driver's license “if she passes a driving test and is up to date on her mental health treatment,” Stein said. The sentence dictates that the nature of the treatment will be defined by a certified mental health professional (such as a psychiatrist), who will give McKay an evaluation. After that, she must keep proving to the DA's Office she is following the doctor's orders, including taking any medication that is prescribed, Stein explained.
Other stipulations in the sentence are 300 hours of public service within the next three years and payment of court costs and restitution.
Hendrickson was a 2008 Palmer High School graduate, attending her freshman year at Grinnell College in Iowa. She was home on spring break when the accident occurred. Hendrickson grew up with her parents, David Hendrickson and Clelia Demoraes, in a house they bought on West Pikes Peak Avenue in 1990.
McKay is now an Arkansas resident, Stein said.
Westside Pioneer article