Charlotte, MI (WYSM ) — A Charlotte woman won’t go to jail for allegedly killing a well-known pastor.
In exchange for a guilty plea, Elizabeth Meinke is charged with reckless driving causing the death of 51-year-old Timothy Olson.
Olson’s daughter is showing us how this can be a lesson.
Rebekah Boston told News 10’s Megan Hiler that the past year has had a lot of ups and downs, but her family is working to move forward for her late father.
“My dad knew everyone. He loved everyone,” Boston said.
As a pastor, Boston said, the community was important to Olson. Boston says that because of her father, the family has chosen not to be angry at Meinke, or at her sentence.
“Actually, when we initially met at the courthouse, that was actually what we kind of suggested,” Boston said.
Boston says it’s what her dad would have wanted.
“He would not have wanted Ms. Meinke to serve any time. And, that being said, he would have wanted her to have a chance to rehabilitate herself and have a chance to get her life back on track. She’s not some monster who hit and killed a man on purpose. It was an accident,” she said.
Boston and her family are choosing to forgive her.
“Pretty much, it comes back to my father. We were raised in a house where forgiveness was an essential. It was necessary. You didn’t go to bed without forgiving someone if you were angry.”
Even though they know it was an accident, Boston says it can still be turned into a lesson.
“Accidents can be prevented. We just ask everyone, especially on backroads, when you’re in a hurry, drive safely. Stop at the stop signs. Because it’s not worth it, it’s not worth everything we’ve been through.”
Meinke was ordered not to drive and to have mental health and substance abuse assessments. She’s also been ordered not to use drugs or alcohol.
If Meinke does all of that with no violations, the prosecuting attorney will reduce the charge to a moving violation causing death, a one-year misdemeanor with two years of probation.