Drunk driving hurts everyone. Victims are needlessly killed or their lives ruined, and the drunk driver’s life is ruined, too. Drunk drivers are often misguided young people who made stupid mistakes that killed people. But for everything that drunk driving is, it’s not a laughing matter. There’s nothing funny about it and a family in a Michigan courtroom learned that the hard way.
Unfortunately, the victims of drunk drivers and the resulting trials rarely make the news. It’s so common an occurrence that society has become numb to it. But one story made the news because the family members of drunk driver Amanda Kosal, 25, were laughing and cutting up while the victim’s family members were addressing the woman who killed their loved one. The people were at Kosal’s sentencing hearing.
The victim was 31-year-old Jerome Zirker. This past summer, he was picking his fiance, Brittany Johnson, up from work when their SUV was struck by Amanda Kosal’s vehicle. He died and Brittany was taken to the hospital with injuries.
According to CBS News, family members of Jerome were giving their impact statements when Kosal’s family began laughing. However, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard was having none of it.
“Whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member … in the entire time that Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking, that clown — and that’s what I am going to call him, a clown — was sitting there smiling and laughing,” said Lillard.
“And you can go, too,” the judge added, pointing to Kosal’s mother, Donna. “Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave.”
She continued to dress down the disrespectful family members.