ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s been over two and a half years since the daughter of Amy and Allen Tucker was taken from them by a reported drunk driver in Athens.
Elizabeth Tucker was driving her sister home when they were re-ended by what police say was a drunk driver at a traffic light.
The case has had consistent delays and the Tucker family is pleading with the Limestone District Attorney for closure.
According to an Athens police investigation, on September 22, 2020, Elizabeth Tucker, then 22 years old, was killed instantly when her car was struck by the SUV driven by Tonyia Shepard who according to the report, was driving under the influence of alcohol. Shepard, according to the investigation, was charged with manslaughter the following February.
“Since that time period the case continually gets added to the docket and continually moved through the docket,” said Allen Tucker.
There has been no closure to the case against Shepard and according to the family, they have had no communication from Limestone DA Brian Jones on a trial. Allen Tucker says the family is struggling to understand why.
“These are not complicated cases these are extremely cut and dried cases,” Tucker explained. “For two years and eight months now, there can be no closure for the family.”
Consumed with daily grief from their loss, in 2022, they wrote a letter to the office of Governor Kay Ivey searching for anything to get over the existing hurdles. In July of that year, the governor responded to their letter in part;
‘Ultimately, the concerns you have raised may be most appropriately addressed to the legislative and judicial branches of state and government…I encourage you to reach out to your legislators, state senator and state representative to assist you in this process.’
The Tucker family is at a loss on what to do to get an answer from the DA.
“There are also cases that have been delayed longer than ours that are still on the docket that are over six years old,” said Amy Tucker. “Someone has to try to fix this system because it is obviously broken.”
According to court records, June 28 is the next date on the docket. News 19 reached out to both the Limestone District Attorney and the lawyer for Tonya Shepard and has not heard back.