Man Sentenced In Crash That Killed 73-Year-Old

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UPDATED: Friday April 18, 2014 6:40 PM

On Friday, the man responsible for a crash that killed a Morrow County grandfather learned his fate.

Cory Jackson was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for his role in the drunk-driving crash that killed Paul Nauman two and a half years ago.

Many months have passed since the night of November 17, 2011, but Paul Nauman's family recounted it today in excruciating detail.

"I remember looking into his eyes. He had beautiful blue eyes. He looked up at us, not knowing his legs were crushed. His chest was crushed. And with all that he had, he stood strong, because he didn't want to upset us," said Nauman’s daughter Kim Mast.  "It was everything he could do to take a breath of air,” said his son Roger Nauman.  “He was in so much pain. I looked at him and the first words out of his mouth were ‘how's mom?’"

Cory Jackson admits he was drunk when he collided with the car driven by Paul Nauman.  Nauman’s wife, Patricia, was in the passenger seat.

Tracy Nauman remembers seeing his father in the hospital after his death.  "I went to him and I just grabbed ahold of him and held him. And he comes through me, Cory, and he forgave you; through me. That don't mean I forgave you. It's going to take a long time."

After a two week trial, in February, Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and DUI.  In exchange, both sides agreed to a sentence of no more than four years.

Today Patricia Nauman spoke of a letter Jackson had written her.

"You asked me to ‘please don't take you from your wife, your son, and your daughters,’" Nauman said, speaking to Jackson. "Cory, I'm not asking to take you away from your family. You've done that.”

She said even a prison sentence would be a temporary separation.  Her loss is permanent.

"I sit each night in my chair. I look over at the chair Paul would sit in, but he's not there. And he's never going to be there. It's such a lonely life."

His distraught family behind him, Jackson apologized to the Naumans.

"I wish I could take that night back, but I can't. And I'm so sorry for that," Jackson said.

He promised to commit his life to educating others.

"...what drinking and driving can do. You know, you don't think it'll happen to you. Well, here I stand. Yes it can."

Jackson requested that he be allowed to report to prison on Monday, so he could spend Easter weekend with his family.  Judge Howard Hall pointed out that Paul Nauman will never spend another holiday with his family, and denied the request, ordering Jackson to begin serving his prison sentence immediately.

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