Tragic DUI Incident: Single Mother's Death and the Legal Battle Unveiled

Tragic DUI Incident: Single Mother’s Death and the Legal Battle Unveiled

TAMPA, Fla. – Over two and a half years have passed since an intoxicated driver caused the death of a single mother raising three children.

Prosecutors have alleged that Joseph Higgins employed various tactics to prolong the legal proceedings.

The incident occurred on January 3, 2021, when Higgins, under the influence, collided with Karrie Lewis, leading to her tragic demise due to the severe injuries sustained in the accident.

Joseph Higgins was apprehended several months later on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. While his trial was initially scheduled for October of the previous year, it was later rescheduled to June. At that juncture, Higgins opted to flee the area.

Following his recapture, he contended that he lacked the mental capacity to stand trial. However, after undergoing evaluation by a psychiatrist, his competence was affirmed.

Karrie Lewis had succumbed to her critical injuries stemming from the crash in 2021.

Ultimately, last Friday, he acquiesced to a plea arrangement that mandates a 20-year prison sentence, succeeded by 10 years of probation, and a permanent revocation of his driving privileges.

Today, relatives of Karrie conveyed their thoughts in court, predominantly focusing on her children.

Lynn Chartier, Karrie’s mother, disclosed, “Karrie’s second child was peacefully asleep in the car. He has recounted to us multiple times that his final words to his mother were, ‘Mommy, I love you.'”

Karrie’s sister, Krystal Cleaves, stated, “We had no alternative but to explain to them that their mother had joined God.”

Chartier apprised the court that 957 days had transpired since the accident, emphasizing that the enduring impact of this loss would remain with the family indefinitely.

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