The man charged in the Sept. 12 traffic death of 19-year-old Jordan Elizabeth White was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in Columbia County Superior Court.
Lucky Wade Jackson, 43, of Evans, was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and running a red light. Following the recommendation of prosecutors, Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Jackson to 12 years in prison, followed by four years of probation, along with alcohol treatment and restitution. Brown also ordered Jackson to serve 500 hours of community service speaking publicly about the consequences of substance abuse and intoxicated driving.
Jackson hung his head as White’s family and friends described her and their loss.
“There’s not enough words I can come up with that tell you how sorry I am,” Jackson said to White’s family. “If there is anything I could do to change it or to take Jordan’s place, I would.”
Jackson, of Buxton Lane in Evans, was intoxicated when his truck hit and killed White, of Martinez, on Sept. 12. His blood-alcohol level was 0.281, according to tests performed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, nearly four times higher than Georgia’s legal limit of .08.
“Today, there are no winners, just huge loss,” White’s mother, Jackie, said adding that her daughter was a “beautiful soul” with a passion for helping others.
Jackson was driving his Ford F-250 pickup west on Washington Road shortly before midnight when he ran the red light at Ronald Reagan Drive and slammed into the driver’s side of the 2001 Honda Accord driven by White, who was turning left to head east on Washington Road, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office accident report.
White’s vehicle, with two other passengers, slid onto the lawn in front of Regions Bank on the corner, while Jackson’s pickup traveled across oncoming lanes and hit an eastbound tractor-trailer waiting at the red light, according to the report.
White was airlifted to Georgia Regents Medical Center, where she later died. Her two passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
“I just hope that everyone here can keep the positive in mind,” White’s father, Joe, said. “Do something kind for someone else in her honor.”