Moral Low Ground


Loretta Robinson, South Carolina Mom, Billed for Cleanup after Drunk Undocumented Driver Kills Son

A grieving South Carolina mother whose first-born son was killed by a drunk undocumented driver was billed for various costs relating to the accident, including cleaning the street of her dead child’s blood.

Anna Gonzalez, an undocumented immigrant who has lived illegally in the United States for 12 years, struck and killed Justin Walker in Greenville last June.

“I never would have imagined getting that call,” Loretta Robinson, Walker’s mother, said of the coroner’s call informing her of her son’s death. “Never in one million years expected that,” she told WYFF.

The bereaved mother also never expected that she would be billed for costs related to the deadly accident. Robinson, who was present in court on June 19 as Gonzalez pleaded guilty to killing her son, showed the judge many bills she’s had to pay despite the fact that her son did nothing wrong.

She had to pay to have the wrecked car stored for months in case their was a trial.

“I had to pay to have the vehicle towed,” she told WYFF. “I had to pay for the vehicle [to be] removed and to clean up the street from Justin’s blood on the ground.”

Robinson says she was charged $50 for the street cleaning.

“First of all, having to open the mail and look at the charge to the deceased, Justin Darryl Walker — the deceased,” she added. “It’s just a hard thing to deal with in the context of your child.”

Robinson added that she has difficulty working due to the emotional toll of the accident and its aftermath and that it is very frustrating to have bills piling up but no income.

South Carolina’s victim assistance fund has helped with some money, but those payments mainly cover funeral, medical and counseling expenses.

Robinson is also frustrated with the fact that undocumented immigrants are committing crimes in the United States.

“We have to be able, as a country, to figure out a way with people here who are illegal and commit crimes,” she told WYFF.

Gonzalez was sentenced to 17 years in prison for killing Walker.

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  1. Ms. MJune 25, 2012 at 12:28 pmReply

    Why does she have to pay? I don’t understand.

    • Brett WilkinsJune 25, 2012 at 4:12 pmReplyAuthor

      That makes two of us…

  2. nazani14July 5, 2012 at 9:24 amReply

    There’s a lot missing from this story. Was Anna Gonzales employed? Perhaps her employer could be sued to recover some of the costs, and the employer certainly should face criminal charges for hiring an illegal.

    Did the crash victim leave any bank accounts or property? The person who inherited that could be charged for some of the towing, vehicle storage, etc. The inheritor might be Ms. Robinson.

    Bottom line, folks, somebody has to pay for this stuff. Either you pay taxes that allow law enforcement, emergency services, etc. to do their job efficiently, or private citizens pay as they go, generally at higher rates. Most police departments have impound yards, where vehicles sit until a case is closed. If the citizens of Greenville voted down the cost of buying a piece of property with a fence around it, some of those citizens will suffer. Too many of us have an “it can’t happen to me” attitude. This is a lot like the 2011 story where the fire department refused to fight a fire where the owner hadn’t previously paid into a fund.

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