Aiken family takes to social media to change vehicular - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Aiken family takes to social media to change vehicular fatalities law

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AIKEN, SC (WFXG) -

Maria Saxon remembers the day her sister Lukiesha Thomas died.

"I was in Charleston and my aunt called me and told me that my sister had been in an accident and she got hit," Saxon began. "We got in the car and was on our way back to see how she was doing and unfortunately, I didn't get to see her before she passed or anything."

Earlier this year, Thomas, her son and Ray Wooden Jr. were walking on the sidewalk near the corner of York Street and Eastern Place, in Aiken, when a driver jumped the curb and hit both Thomas and Wooden.

Thomas died while in surgery that same day and Wooden was critically injured.

The driver, Aiken attorney Tom Woodruff, was charged with careless driving, and reportedly only paid a $155 dollar fine.

"I feel my sister's life was more than a $155 traffic ticket," said Saxon. "Somebody lost their life, somebody else was seriously injured and a third person, a baby, could have lost their life also and you say careless driving, what is that?," Saxon asked.

The careless driving ordinance reads, "it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in a careless manner in disregard of the safety of persons or property upon any street, sidewalk, alley or parking area, public or private, within the corporate limits of the city."

But in South Carolina for it to be considered reckless vehicular homicide, there has to be a "willful disregard for the safety of a person" and the Aiken Department of Public Safety doesn't believe this was the case.

Still the family is not satisfied. They recently uploaded a video to YouTube to explain their frustration and try to get the law changed.

"We need stiffer penalties for this type of crime," Saxon said. "I don't want anyone else's family have to go through what I am going through."

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