CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston father says he sees “nothing” when he looks at the man who ran his daughter over with his truck during a drunk driving wreck in Morgantown.
“I try not to see him,” Brent Sears said of Alexander Hambrick, 20, of Winfield. “He made a horrible mistake.”
Sears was in a Monongalia County courtroom earlier this week when Hambrick was sentenced in connection with the crash.
Police said Hambrick was drunk on Jan. 17, 2016 when he struck and killed Carli Sears, 20, who was walking on Stewart Street in Morgantown. Sears was visiting friends at West Virginia University during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Hambrick was ordered by a judge to report to the North Central Regional Jail Friday to await a transfer to the Anthony Correctional Center for Youthful Offenders. That’s where Hambrick will serve his suspended sentence.
If he does not successfully complete the Anthony Center program, he will go to prison for a maximum of 20 years. If he does complete the program, which prosecutors say can take up to two years, he will return to court to be re-sentenced. He faces charges of DUI causing death and for leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
On Thursday morning, Brent Sears was heading to the University of Mississippi, where Carli attended college. Her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, has a scholarship fund in her name.
“We raised over $27,000 dollars (last year),” Sears said on Thursday’s “580 Live” heard on MetroNews affiliate 580-WCHS in Charleston. “Anybody we’re connected with has been so supportive and so wonderful throughout this.”
He said nearly 1,400 people attended Carli’s wake and 600 Ole Miss students showed up for a candlelight vigil.
It’s been over a year since Carli’s tragic death, but Brent said the pain of losing his daughter doesn’t get any easier.
“People say ‘I guess you have good days and bad days’,” he said. “My response to that is ‘No. I have bad parts of every day.'”
Sears was a graduate of George Washington High School. She was also a swimmer and enjoyed teaching young children how to swim, her father said. One day, a mother he knew said she was upset that Carli would not be able to teach her child how to swim anymore.
“She said, ‘Carli was the only person that has ever taught my daughter how to swim and I don’t know how to tell her that Carli won’t be doing that anymore,'” Sears said, fighting back tears.
“The old saying that ‘God takes the best first’ — that’s the only thing I can lean on,” he said.