Mother sentenced for striking woman in crosswalk while high

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A woman who struck and critically hurt a woman in a Fort Wayne Walmart parking lot in late December while high on marijuana was sentenced Thursday.

Kerri A Pendergrass, 26, was sentenced in Allen Superior Court to two years in prison followed by a year of community control and three years on probation for two counts of neglect of a dependant and one count of causing serious injury while operating a motor vehicle with a scheduled substance. Six other charges against her were dropped as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Kerri A. Pendergrass

Pendergrass was charged in February for a Dec. 28 crash in a crosswalk at the Walmart at 10105 Lima Road that left 75-year-old Janet Roberts with a traumatic brain injury and other injuries, according to an affidavit.

Police and medics were called to the store around 10:45 a.m. that late December day. Police said Pendergrass drove through a crosswalk with her young son and infant daughter in her vehicle at the time.

Pendergrass admitted to smoking marijuana before the crash.

In court Thursday, Roberts’ daughter, Toni Hunter, read a prepared statement. In it, she said her mother was very active before the crash but now cannot get around or drive. Janet Roberts was in the courtroom and used a walker.

“To say that we are angry is an understatement,” said Hunter. “We’ve been through hell and back since December. This was preventable.”

Pendergrass, a mother of four, apologized to Roberts and her family.

“No amount of apologies can equal the pain that Janet and her family have been through,” said Pendergrass. “I will be forever indebted to Janet and her family.”

The court also ordered Pendergrass to repay more than $37,000 in restitution.