HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Nearly a year after a deadly crash, the families of the two women killed say they are finally seeing justice after a man was arrested in connection to the wreck.
The families of 24-year-old Hannah Parton and 47-year-old Arlene Velasquez remember their lost loved ones.
“I would tell her, ‘Hannah, momma’s not going to stop fighting for you,'” Hannah’s mother Sheila Parton told News 19.
Parton spent the past 312 days following her daughter’s case, making phone calls, and ensuring people remember Hannah’s story. She said the hardest part of that time has been waiting.
“I can remember writing on the calendar, 188 days, so now it’s been 312 days, and finally something has happened,” Parton said.
Hannah Parton was just five minutes from home when she lost her life in the wreck last November.
“You try to be strong, but any parent who has lost a child can relate,” said Hannah’s father Roger Parton. “My faith has been challenged beyond belief, but God has pushed me through, and he’s going to continue pushing through.”
The family of Arlene Velazquez remembers her kindness and generosity.
“First, I want to thank everyone involved who has made it possible for us to get closer to justice and closure. On behalf of my family, I would like to send out our deepest condolences to the Parton Family. My mom, Arlene, was very involved in the Huntsville Community. She was a selfless person and always had the best interest for everyone around her. She was always sacrificing her wellbeing for others. My mother was someone who was always taking care of people around her and always made sure everyone was at their best. She loved the holidays and being able to decorate and spoiling her grandkids. Her impact on the community and my family has and will forever will be missed. Love you mommy.”Alex Matias, Son of Arlene Velasquez
While the families said nothing will relieve the pain of losing their loved ones, they are now one step closer to justice.
“My biggest relief is that I know that I can lay down in my bed tonight knowing that he’s not going to hurt somebody on the road and take somebody else’s life because I can assure you that this is not something I would wish on anyone,” Sheila Parton said.
27-year-old Jacob Stephens is facing reckless murder, assault, and reckless endangerment charges in connection to the deaths of Parton and Velazquez. The two were killed and five others were injured in a three-vehicle crash on I-565 where a driver, allegedly Stephens, was driving the wrong way on the road.
Stephens was arrested earlier this month in Lauderdale County on drug-related charges.
Hannah’s family said they informed Madison County officials of Stephen’s arrest in Lauderdale County, potentially contributing to the forward motion of Hannah and Arlene’s case back in Madison County.