After a night of heavy drinking, Amanda Kosal got in her car and drove quickly down the highway. The woman from Redford Township, Michigan was drunk driving when her car swerved into oncoming traffic and hit an SUV head-on. This collision killed 31-year-old Jerome Zirker and critically injured his girlfriend Brittany Johnson, also 31. Now their families are left to grieve and deal with the aftermath of this preventable tragedy.
Zirker and Johnson were not in the car with their five children at the time of the accident. If they had been, it’s likely that their children would have lost their lives or sustained serious injuries. Thankfully, Zirker had just picked up Johnson from a twelve-hour shift at work, and so the kids were safe with their beloved grandmother.
“Luckily, they were at grandma’s house, or it would have been all of us,” Johnson said.
Kosal was arrested and pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated, which resulted in a fatality. It was time for her to await sentencing from Judge Qiana Lillard, after she had determined the verdict. But before finalizing Kosal’s future with a gavel slam, she wanted the family of the victim to read their impact statements first. This would ensure that Kosal realization of how much pain and suffering she inflicted upon an innocent family.
However, the defendant’s family viewed the proceedings as a joke. One relative of the accused was smirking and making demeaning comments about the victim’s during crucial testimony.
After seeing the laughing clown, Judge Lillard said, “It’s time for him to go.” The man was then removed from the courtroom.
“I don’t know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member… I mean, in the entire time Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking, that clown— and that’s what I’m going to call him, a clown— was sitting there smiling and laughing.”
The Kosal family showed blatant disrespect for the court when, Amanda’s mother Donna began making faces and making light of the tragedy shortly after the man was taken out.
“You can go too,” the judge said to Donna Kosal. “Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail.”
Donna reacted angrily instead of leaving the courtroom peacefully, which resulted in Judge Lillard giving her a punishment for “disrupting proceedings.”
She was not joking around when she sentenced Donna to 93 days in jail for contempt of court.
“Anyone else want to go? Try it,” the judge said.
“I understand that you are all very upset because your loved one is going to prison,” she said. “But guess what? She’s going to prison for the choice that she made.”
“These people are here grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one, and you’re sitting here acting like it’s a joke?”
Kosal was sentenced to three to fifteen years for killing a person while driving under the influence.