The young woman whose life was changed forever by a hit-and-run driver on Vancouver Island was in a courtroom today to confront the man who hit her and left her for dead last September.
Molly Burton was hit while walking down a road in Comox. She lay in thick bushes with severe injuries, screaming in pain for five hours.
Finally a Good Samaritan heard her and helped her, but her right arm and leg were so badly injured doctors thought she would lose the leg.
They saved it, but she still faces several more surgeries and is in a wheelchair.
Today, Molly delivered her victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing for the young man who hit her.
“I felt that nobody was ever going to come back for me, that I would just be left abandoned in the darkness in excruciating pain forever,” says Burton.
The driver was 16 at the time and can’t be identified.
He pleaded guilty to reduced charges of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and causing bodily harm. The charges of dangerous and impaired driving were dropped.
Today, the judge learned he had admitted to shot gunning beers prior to getting behind the wheel.
The man also has a lengthy driving record, dating back to before he was eligible to drive.
“Getting a chance to actually address him and be in the room with him to say the things we need to say, that was important to us, but this is far from over for our family,” says Molly’s father Ralph Burton.
He says preparing impact statements and having to relive what happened to their daughter has been traumatic for the whole family.
Burton claims the driver never looked at him in court, and he does not believe he is remorseful.
“Remorse looks quite a bit different than what we saw,” he says.
“Nothing is going to fix Molly and nothing is going to repair the damage that has been done to her or our family, but it would be nice to see some justice done.”
The Crown is seeking four and a half months in prison, 18 months probation and a five-year driving prohibition for the driver.
Molly says no sentence will ever give her back what she has lost.
“I am probably never going to be able to put this behind me. So the idea of him being able to just walk away from it and put it behind him is really frustrating for me,” she says.
A sentencing date will be fixed next week.
With files from Kylie Stanton