Texas girl, 17, whose mother is seriously-ill with brain cancer is struck and killed by 'drunk' driver: Girl's mom had to dial in from her sick bed to say goodbye
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
A Texas mother had to phone her dying daughter from her hospital bed after the girl was left fatally injured by a ‘recovered’ alcoholic who drove his pick-up into her as she walked home from school.
Marissa Burke, 17, was struck in Georgia Avenue on Deer Park by serial offender Leland Smith, 55, who runs a Christian recovery ministry.
But she could only be there on speakerphone as Marissa’s condition deteriorated and doctors decided there was nothing more to be done.
‘At about 1.20 this morning they pulled the breathing tube and she went very peacefully,’ said stepfather Ryan Herring.
‘She was so brave. She didn’t move, she didn’t flinch, it only took about five minutes, and she was ready to go – we all knew it.’
Smith failed a breath test at the scene of the crash which took place at 3.30pm on November 14 and was arrested on a charge of intoxication assault.
That has since been upgraded to felony murder and he is being held at the Harris County Jail on a $100,000 bond ahead of his next court appearance on November 27.
Smith received 30 days for a DUI charge in 2008, and two years for the same crime along with injury to an elderly person in 2009.