Victim Talks About Deadly Crash - NBC 7 San Diego

Victim Talks About Deadly Crash



    Victim Talks About Deadly Crash
    Tessa, seen here after recovering from her injuries, wants to see the driver held responsible.

    Tessa Medearis may have only been 18 at the time, but she knew Ian Kinney was the love of her life.  "He was the one for me. I know it. I never wanted to leave him."


    But in July 2008, Ian Kinney was taken from Tessa by a drunk driver.  It happened at about 6 p.m. on State Route 78 as the couple drove in a Lexus from Julian to Vista.


    Driver Accused in Deadly Accident

    [DGO] Driver Accused in Deadly Accident
    The survivor of a deadly accident speaks of the final moments before losing the love of her life.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009)

    "Out of the corner of my eye I see this white flash," said Medearis.  The white flash was a white Chevy pick up truck that CHP investigators say El Cajon resident Shannon Shimp was driving.  According to investigators, Shimp was driving erratically, weaving in and out of traffic, when he lost control and broadsided Kinney and Medearis.


    "I looked over at Ian and I knew it was pretty much over,"said Medearis.  "The car was pushed inside of him, there was blood everywhere and it wasn't mine."


    Kinney was pronounced dead at the scene.  A passenger in Shimp's truck, Joseph Edwards, 52, was also killed.


    Medearis was alive but seriously injured.  Both her hands were shattered, her spine fractured and both feet broken.  "And my thumb was really bad it was actually in the middle of my hand," Medearis said.


    None of the injuries compared to the pain in her heart, she said, after losing the love of her life.  She is hoping an East County jury will convict Shimp on two counts of second degree murder.


    "If we let someone out there that's killed two people, what's to stop them from doing it again," Medearis said.


    Closing arguments begin on Tuesday and the jury could get the case later that morning.


    The defense has argued that this is not a murder case.  Shimp's attorney told jurors that the back tires on the truck had low tire pressure, which may have played a role in the crash.


    If convicted on all counts, Shimp could get 30 years to life in prison.