A man who crashed his pickup truck head-on into a former Navy captain’s Toyota Prius, causing injuries that have disabled the captain for life, was sentenced late last week. Nicholas Griffith will serve six months in jail, 400 hours of community service at a brain injury institute, and 3 years probation. When the accident occurred two years ago in San Diego, Griffith was driving with a suspended license for a prior DUI conviction.
The accident left former Navy Captain Jack Kriz with respiratory, liver and kidney failure and a traumatic brain injury. His family said it was his strength of will and outstanding physical condition that allowed him to even survive. Kriz spent ten months in rehabilitation for the brain injury and is still bound to a wheelchair. Kriz’s wife Kathy said after the sentencing that she was hoping Griffith would face a tougher sentence and at least community service hours to match the 886 hours Kriz spent in therapy.
At the sentencing hearing, Kriz spoke of the hardship he has endured since the car crash. He spoke of the things he can no longer do, such as snowboard with his daughter, support his son in the Special Olympics, and surf on weekends. The judge presiding over the case said he showed admirable compassion for the man who caused his disabling injuries. Kriz said that when people make mistakes, they should be forgiven, but they should have to face consequences for their actions.