Settlement reached in deadly crash that killed high school student

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A settlement has been reached between the family and the employer of the man convicted of driving drunk and killing a Chesapeake teen in a crash.

Prosecutors say in May of 2017, Jerode Johnson was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel of a company truck.

Johnson lost control of the truck on Indian River Road and hit Kaitlyn Duffy’s SUV.

10 On your Side spoke with the attorney who represents the surviving victim of that crash, Sabrina Mundorff. He said another settlement for his client is pending. 

Attorney Michael Goodove said both families are ready to move forward.

“The families are left with terrible, terrible, long term injuries and damages and no amount of money can take its place,” Goodove said.

According to court documents, Great Bridge Furniture and their insurer offered to pay a combined $450,000 to the estate of Kaitlyn Duffy.

Duffy’s estate will only receive $274,000 after attorney fees and other outstanding expenses are deducted.

A tentative settlement is pending for Mundorff. Goodove told WAVY-TV 10 a larger settlement amount would’ve put the company out of business.

“The amount of insurance coverage as well as assets with Great Bridge Furniture is woefully inadequate to compensate either or both of the families,” he said.

10 On Your Side reached out to Great Bridge Furniture by phone but we were told no one was available to give a comment. 

Meanwhile, Mundorff is still recovering.

“She’s lucky to be here today. She’s dealing with a traumatic brain injury. She has permanent loss of vision on the left side of both eyes. She’s unable to drive and she still has some significant orthopedic injuries,”

Goodove hopes this ordeal will make people think twice before drinking and driving. 

“We’ve got Uber, we’ve got Lyft, we’ve got ride share. We’ve got public transportation that’s available to you, there’s absolutely no excuse to drink to the level of impairment and get behind the wheel,” he said.

Johnson pleaded guilty to multiple charges including aggravated involuntary manslaughter, DUI maiming, and possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison. 

Mundorff is now attending her first semester at Virginia Tech.

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