‘Wasn’t his fault:’ Victim’s family forgives convicted drunk driver

Nikayla Heddinger

MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday, Sept. 11 marked two years since a crash at 32nd and Atkinson in Milwaukee took two lives. The family of one of those killed said they forgive the driver who caused it.

Two others were hurt when an SUV slammed into a pole.

"It doesn't feel like (two years). It doesn't feel like that," said Deja Hentz, victim's friend.

"I heard it," said Dara Fowler, Nikayla Heddinger's sister.

The driver of the SUV, with four people inside, lost control.

"I was actually with her that day. We were celebrating her birthday and things just got a little out of hand. When I turned around, it was their car and we pulled over and got out to see if she was alright," said Fowler.

Dara Fowler

Fowler, who was in the car ahead of them, learned her sister and another passenger died. Heddinger, 24, left behind three children, including a newborn.

"It was definitely tragic. He was 2 months at the time, and he's 2 years now. He didn't even really get to know his mom and it's really heartbreaking," said Fowler.

Nikayla Heddinger

The driver of the SUV, Trejon Price, didn't have a license, and admitted to drunk driving. He was later convicted in connection with the crash.

"It wasn't his fault," said Fowler.

With each anniversary, Heddinger's family finds strength in forgiveness.

"We were all out having fun. That was her best friend, so it's not like he intentionally tried to do it. It was an accident," said Fowler.

"Rest in peace to a beautiful queen," said Hentz.

Nikayla Heddinger

Price was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and five years extended supervision, with credit for 321 days time served -- convicted on six felony counts.

Family members told FOX6 another woman who sustained serious injuries in this crash and was on a ventilator is recovering.

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