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Driver charged with DUI in deadly Grady Co. crash as the victim’s family continues to grieve

A Tallahassee woman faces several charges, including vehicular homicide and DUI, following a deadly September crash on US 319 in Grady County.
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee woman faces several charges, including vehicular homicide and DUI, following a deadly September crash on US 319 in Grady County.

According to Georgia State Patrol, an arrest warrant for 33-year-old Jennifer Gallo was issued in November. Gallo, who was also injured in the accident, is in a wheelchair and has not yet turned herself in, according to investigators.

Gallo is accused of driving the wrong-way down US 319 just before 5 a.m. on Sept. 25, crashing head-on into a car driven by Nora Cooney. Cooney was killed in the crash.

Cooney’s sister, Caitlin Patrick, first talked with WCTV about her grief in October.

On Tuesday, she talked with WCTV again, this time about where her grief is now.

“I don’t know if you get past anger, or if you have to move through the stages of grief and still be angry,” she said. “This was something you don’t see coming.”

Gallo was arrested in 2017 for alleged DUI in Tallahassee. According to the arrest report, officers found her asleep in the car with the vehicle pulled over onto a Betton Road sidewalk.

She was not convicted of the crime. State Attorney Jack Campbell explained his office had evidence problems.

“When the officers arrived, there were no keys in the car and the car was not operable, and as such we weren’t able to prove she was in physical control of the car at the time,” he said.

Instead of a conviction, Gallo agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement. She attended a DUI Class.

Four years later, she’s accused of killing someone while driving drunk.

Patrick said she understands what happened in 2017, but she wishes there was a stronger deterrent to avoid repeat offenders.

”If we had stricter DUI laws, even for a first time offense, then we wouldn’t be having the issues that we have,” she said.

She also voiced frustration at how long it took for charges to be filed in the case.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland will be prosecuting the case. He said he understands the family’s frustrations with the justice system.

“It’s just not like it is in the movies,” he said. “It takes quite a while.”

But he said he takes prosecuting DUIs very seriously.

“A car in the hands of someone that is impaired is just as deadly as a gun,” he said.

For now, the grieving family waits.

WCTV is working to contact Gallo or her legal team.

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