Lee County-- The mother of a teen killed by a drunk driver says laws need to be changed to give harsher penalties to those convicted of DUI. Six years ago, Tammy Brown's son Christopher was killed after getting hit by a car while riding his bike on a Lee County road.
Thomas Bass was sentenced to 20 years and served six. He was released in June. Now, three months later he's back in jail for Driving Under the Influence again. Tammy Brown wants to keep him there.
"Thomas Bass came around that corner. He lost control of his car and he met the boys right in this ditch," says Brown. It's a sad trip down memory lane for Tammy Brown. On June 11th 1999, her son Christopher and his best friend were riding their bikes along the ditches on Stocks Dairy Road when they were struck by a drunk driver. "Christopher's bicycle was underneath Thomas Bass' car and Christopher laid right here," says Brown.
Christopher's friend survived, but Tammy now faces the spot where her son was left for dead.
"I'm overwhelmed," says Brown. Six years later, the road to recovery is still tough for Brown. That recovery begins where it all started. She says the road will end when justice is served. "I'm not an angry person. This makes me angry," says Brown. Thomas Bass was released in June of this year. In September, he was arrested again for a host of charges including DUI.
Brown says Bass made her a promise. "He told me that he was going to do everything for the rest of his life to make up the terrible mistake," says Brown. She says that promise is now broken and now she vows to make a difference by keeping him in jail. "I think that the people of Lee County need to be aware and I need some help. If we don't like the laws, guess what? Change them," says Brown.
She wants tougher sentencing for Bass and other drunk drivers. "I got sentenced to life that night. When I lost Christopher, my whole life changed," says Brown. And although she can't change Christopher's fate, "We've done the best that we can do everyday to make him proud of us," says Brown.
She's taking what she hopes is the short road to some long-term changes.
Bass is currently being held in the Lee County jail on a probation hold. He faces charges of posession of cocaine and marijuana, failure to maintain lane, and driving under the influence. Tammy Brown is issuing a plea to everyone in the community to come to the Lee County courthouse on November 1st when Bass goes to court at 10 am. The Bass family declined to comment.