The man responsible for a hit and run that left a Lawrence University student severely injured last year was sentenced Thursday.
Justin Jorgensen will spend time in jail, but only during the month of October during his 10 years of probation.
“More than any of the physical pain I experienced, the biggest pain I felt was knowing that someone had absolutely no regard for my life,” says the victim to Jorgensen who did not want to be identified by name. “I was lying in the middle of the road, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get up by talking to you, but I told you I was in pain and I needed help. You told me I was fine.”
And then Jorgensen drove away.
He was arrested later that night, but the event still has left the victim and her family with more questions than answers.
“Will she walk again normally? Will she be able to swing dance? Will her bones heal properly with her recent pain? How can we get her leg functioning to come back? Can she bear children?” says the victim’s mother.
Jorgensen spent four days in prison, but now he has been sentenced to 10 years probation.
But each October for those ten years he will serve jail time.
From October 1-15 he will sit in jail.
He will remain in jail the 16-31, but will be allowed to leave for work release.
Jorgensen spoke before the sentence was handed down.
“I want you to know from the bottom of my heart how truly sorry I am,” says Jorgensen. “I think about that night, every day and how much I wish I could take it back over and over.”
A life forever changed.
“You have stolen a life for me and given me a new one, one where I have to be conscious of every single activity, but at least I know people love me,” says the victim. “All I ask is that you think about what you have done to me and everyone around me when you decided to drive away.”
Technically Jorgensen was sentenced to 12 months in prison, not to be served consecutively.
He’ll spend a total of 10 months in jail over the next 10 years and the extra two months the judge can use to give extra jail time if Jorgensen violates his probation.
A restitution hearing has been requested, Jorgensen could pay the victim and her family at least $250,000.