WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been more than a year since Haylee Molina was hit by a drunk driver while riding her scooter in Warwick.
Anthony Sudduth admitted in court to driving drunk and crashing his SUV into Haylee, then 7 years old, in May 2018.
Prosecutors said he sped through a stop sign before hitting Haylee, continuing into a park before crashing into a fence. Court documents reveal his blood alcohol content was .380, nearly five times the legal limit.
Haylee’s mother, Amanda Molina, remembers that day like it was yesterday.
“I was preparing myself for them to tell me the worst because of the nature of it and I saw her, I was right there,” Amanda said.
Amanda said Haylee spent months in the hospital recovering, undergoing more than 10 surgeries to fix her two broken legs. She said it was not only hard for Haylee, but for her siblings as well.
“They were there, they saw it happen,” Amanda said. “For them, especially her not coming home for so long, it was more, ‘What’s going to happen? What’s going on? Is she ever going to come back? Are we ever going to live normal again?’”
While Haylee has come a long way, Amanda said her road to recovery isn’t over. But through it all, Haylee has remained positive.
“I’m strong, I’m brave,” Haylee said.
Sudduth pleaded no contest to charges of DUI resulting in bodily injury and driving to endanger. He was sentenced to six years to serve at the ACI for the charge, plus five consecutive years for violating his probation from a previous assault charge.
Amanda said it’s important to cherish your children every day because you never know what could happen.
“Appreciate your children, keep them as close as possible, I definitely have a much stronger relationship with them now after this, I appreciate every second with them,” Amanda said.
A GoFundMe page was recently created in hopes of sending Haylee and her family to Disney World, since the accident occurred a week before her family as supposed to go. Her family is also still collecting donations to put toward her medical expenses.
A fundraiser is being held for Haylee at the Knights of Columbus in Warwick on June 6. Tickets are $20.