Crystin Keys, the ambulance driver for Puckett EMS in the June 16, 2017 accident in which the patient in transport died, on Monday entered a guilty plea to settle all criminal charges.
Ms. Keys appeared in the Floyd County Superior Court in Rome.
She was charged with vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane.
The case was settled with her plea to only the second count, the failure to maintain a lane, with the vehicular homicide count being dismissed.
The former ambulance driver, due to the fact she was five weeks pregnant at the time of the accident, had been avoiding caffeinated drinks which had in other times served the purpose of keeping the driver alert during long shifts, her attorney, McCracken Poston of Ringgold said.
He stated “It's a just resolution of the case,” and he thanked the family of the late Tony Patterson "for their compassion for his client during their own time of grief."
“We were developing a defense based upon a possible involuntary blackout based on a medical issue,” attorney Poston stated. “Crystin suffered from what was diagnosed as a ‘QT Interval’ episode, which involves the electrical impulses to her heart. This was going to be argued at trial as well documented reasonable doubt of her guilt, but the compassion expressed by the family of the late Tony Patterson caused both the prosecution and the defense to take a second look at the case.”
Mr. Patterson’s family, through their civil attorney and after discussions between their lawyer and attorney Poston, informed the District Attorney that they would be satisfied with the vehicular homicide count being dismissed, it was stated.
Ms. Keys was given a suspended sentence upon a total payment of fine and costs of $84.90, all which was paid Monday morning.