Subject of chase gets 4-plus years following car crash
HUNTINGTON — A Cabell County judge showed no sympathy at a sentencing reconsideration hearing for a woman whose multi-county car chase ruined the career of a young aspiring Cabell County doctor.
Brittany Shae Lambert, 27, previously pleaded guilty to fleeing causing bodily injury and fleeing causing property damage. Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred E. Ferguson sentenced her recently to serve four to 10 years in prison. He added that he would recommend that Lambert should not be parole eligible.
Lambert stole a vehicle from Recovery Point in Charleston while intoxicated Sept. 9, 2017, and headed toward Huntington. Milton police were alerted, Milton police Cpl. Dean Bishop previously said, and she was soon spotted. When police attempted to pull her over, Lambert allegedly accelerated to speeds of 120 mph to 130 mph before attempting to avoid Bishop by taking the Barboursville Mall Road off-ramp at Exit 20.
She allegedly crossed straight through the ramp’s intersection with East Mall Road and successfully returned to the interstate. But when she tried to shake Bishop again by taking Exit 18, near the Merritt Creek shopping plaza, she allegedly crashed going 50 mph into the back of two stopped vehicles at the bottom of the ramp.
All three vehicles were totaled, Bishop said.
Two individuals were injured as a result, one of whom told her story during Lambert’s sentencing.
The woman is a doctor in Cabell County whose job prospects were affected by the crash.
“This accident changed my life forever. I lost part of myself that day. I was lying in the hospital for hours. I didn’t know my name, didn’t know who I was,” she said. “Some of the other doctors I’ve worked with up at the hospital actually recognized me and contacted my family.”
The woman had severe brain, facial and oral injuries that still affect her. She was unable to interview for the next step in her career due to her recovery, and after graduating from medical school, she had to take a lower paying job, losing about $75,000 in the year after the crash.
Because of the crash, she believes she will be unable to work as a surgeon or in a similar capacity.
She has gone through several sessions of physical and psychological therapy and still suffers from headaches, she said. What affected her most was a 30-point drop in her IQ.
“After this accident, after two rounds of testing, I was tested in the normal range of 103,” she said. “I was told if I had a normal IQ at the time of this accident, then I would have been left intelligently disabled.”
Lambert did not speak on her own behalf at last Friday’s sentencing, but her attorney, Kim Carico, read a statement Lambert had prepared. In the letter, Lambert apologized for her actions.
“Please know I have prayed for your recovery and forgiveness. After seeing the photos of the car, I honestly do not know how we survived,” she said. “At first I wished I had died; however, I have learned that recovery, even for someone who has been addicted to heroin for many years, is possible.”
Ferguson said he had no sympathy for Lambert’s story of drug dependency issues.
“You have no idea what you did to her,” he said. “You’ve shed some tears today, but you were not shedding tears the day you (did this).”
Lambert still has charges pending in Charleston related to the vehicle theft.
Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.