Friday, October 3, 2003

Fatal wreck results in jail


Drunk driver gets 3 years in death of woman, unborn child

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA - A Fairfield woman who was driving drunk when her vehicle rear-ended a pickup truck, killing 21-year-old Kathleen "Katy" Rocklin of Milford and her unborn child, was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.

Tiffany N. Peterson, 28, wept and trembled visibly in an emotional sentencing hearing.

"I desperately wish I could bring back Katy," Peterson told Clermont County Common Pleas Judge William Walker and Rocklin's family and friends. "I will do whatever I can to help others. ... This will never be over for me. I will live with the knowledge of killing Katy and her unborn child for the rest of my life."

Last month, Peterson pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Peterson, whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, admitted speeding through a construction zone on Interstate 275 June 12. She rear-ended the pickup truck carrying Rocklin and her fiance, Andrew Grote. The two were to be married in July and had just come from a session with their pastor.

The impact of Peterson's car caused the pickup truck to overturn in the median, and sent Peterson's vehicle into a concrete wall.

Both Grote and Peterson suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Rocklin was pronounced dead at the scene.

"One day God will compel me to forgive Tiffany Peterson," said Rocklin's mother, Linda.

"But today my heart is so filled with sadness because Katy paid the consequences of (Peterson's) actions."

Larry Rocklin, Katy's father, said his family does not hate Peterson. Instead, they "hate what she has done to our family. We will live our lives without being called Grandma and Grandpa.

"Tiffany, serve your sentence and return to your family," he added. "Restore order to your life and your family's lives and thank God everyday that you have your chance to live your life."

E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com




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