A grieving mother's wounds are re–opened, now that the drunk
driver who killed her teenage son, is
about to be released from prison years early. For Kathy Gemma, a mother who's lost her only child, time
only dull's the pain. Now, that the woman responsible for the death of her son is
about to be released early, that pain is almost unbearable.
Everyone deals with losing a loved one differently.
"I love his face," smiled Kathy Gemma as she stared at a picture of her late son.
For Gemma, coping with the loss of her only child, is
done through laughter and memories.
"As a mother of an only son, and the way it was, just a
horrific crash," explained Gemma.
But if you look closely, the laughs are only a shield for
the pain she's carried for 6 years.
"He wasn't killed instantly, but she was doing close to
70 miles an hour on Hartford Avenue,"she said.
17–year–old Anthony Gemma was leaving work in Johnston in
2006, on his way home, when an SUV driven by Dawn Simas crossed into his
lane, hitting him head on. Simas was drunk and high.
"My life has just been a complete nightmare ever
since," said Gem ma.
Simas was sentenced to 10 years, but because of "good
behavior", she'll walk free next month, 4 years early.
Gemma found out through an automated phone call.
'It literally makes me feel like I've been run over by a
bus," said Gemma.
Adding to the grief, now Gemma is dealing with the fear of
running into the person responsible for her son's death.
"I feel like I'm in jail now, because every time I walk
out that door, there's a possibility I could run into her," she said.
Simas was up for parole two years ago and was denied. Her release now, is solely because of the days she's earned
through the "good time" law.
"The longer the sentence, the more good time," said Dr. Kenneth Walker of the Rhode Island Parole Board.
Gemma tries not to focus on the person who's brought her so
much pain, instead, she focuses on her son, who gave her the best 17 years of
"We did everything together, we traveled, he learned
how to ski when he was 6, it was awesome, I mean he was just a great kid," smiled Gemma.
Since Simas has been in prison, she's earned 1,522 days of
good time, which amounts to four years of credit. As of today she's set to be released on October 20th.