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Teen pays fine for wreck that killed Rocky Mount trucker

Posted September 4, 2013

Jordan Anne Thomas pleaded guilty to failure to yield in connection with a June 10, 2013, crash in Rocky Mount that killed a truck driver.

— A judge was moved to tears Wednesday when the family of a Rocky Mount truck driver killed in a June wreck forgave the teen driver who pleaded guilty to causing the crash.

Jordan Anne Thomas, 16, of 208 Regency Drive in Nashville, pleaded guilty to failure to yield in the June 10 wreck and was ordered to pay a $75 fine and court costs. A charge of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

David Warren Stone, 71, was hauling building materials on U.S. Highway 301 Bypass in Rocky Mount and swerved to avoid Thomas, a Nash Central High School junior who had pulled out into the intersection while trying to make a right turn. The tractor-trailer then crashed into a bridge railing, and the truck cab slid down into the rain-swollen Stoney Creek as the truck flipped over the rail.

"Mr. Stone is my hero. Because of his actions on June 10th, my daughter is still alive, and I’m thankful for that," Thomas' father, Eddie Thomas, said after Wednesday's court hearing.

David Stone's two sons said they have already forgiven Jordan Thomas, saying they knew she made a mistake as a young driver. They didn't want her to face a harsh sentence, only plead guilty and accept responsibility for the crash, so she could live a full life after their father sacrificed his own life for hers.

"There are two good families here, and the situation was a bad situation," Chris Stone said. "We would like to thank everybody for your prayers and support."

David Stone Dead man's family say they were taught to forgive

District Judge John Covolo called the Stone family's response to the tragedy "exemplary," and he wiped his eyes and cleared his throat as he spoke about the case.

"I’m sure she has learned from this, and I can tell from these letters that have been written from the family that I’m sure they don’t want, they want her to have a good life and try to remember it but learn from it," Covolo said.

"Your husband and your father is obviously a good man," he told the Stone family. "You have a lot to be proud of, and so does he. I’ve never seen forgiveness like this, and I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years. God bless you is all I can say."

Eddie Thomas said he also was moved by the family's graciousness.

"It’s refreshing a breath of fresh air, a new start, a new beginning," he said.

Covolo knows Eddie Thomas, a former State Highway Patrol trooper, but Stone's family said they wanted him to handle the case despite the conflict of interest.

48 Comments

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  • bgibson3 Sep 12, 2013

    Most of us want "justice" until we are the offender. Then, we want "grace" and "forgiveness."

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Sep 5, 2013

    The judge should be fired. He has failed in his dutty, to represent the victim.
    Xiaoding

    maybe in China. Here he represents teh State and is supposed to be neutral.

  • dev8me Sep 5, 2013

    xiaoding you are absolutely wrong and when you get older you will understand what life is about.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Sep 5, 2013

    If I had been driving that truck I would have plowed right through her car.
    Obamacare for everyone

    Thank goodness Mr. Stone was obviously much smarter and more compassionate than you.

  • DBnNC Sep 5, 2013

    I truly admire the Stone family. They have set an example for all of us to live by. It is very hard to forgive, but in the end it makes the world a better place.

  • Xiaoding Sep 5, 2013

    The family forgave her? It is not for the family to forgive, that's Mr. Stones job. The family can only forgive for thier loss, not Mr. Stones loss.

    The judge should be fired. He has failed in his dutty, to represent the victim.

  • stahl384 Sep 5, 2013

    The old saying is,

    Its not what you know its who you know

  • Obamacare for everyone Sep 5, 2013

    "No consequences for her actions makes her more likely to make another mistake"
    Dan Cooper

    Agreed. She's 16, so I highly doubt she even realizes the debt of gratitude she owes the family of the victim here.

    If I had been driving that truck I would have plowed right through her car.

  • Dan Cooper Sep 5, 2013

    No consequences for her actions makes her more likely to make another mistake

  • cbuckyoung Sep 5, 2013

    This is an example of the power of prayer and when people allow the mercy of God to lead their actions.

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