Mother of victim in fatal texting and driving case outraged over sentencing

Mother of victim in fatal texting and driving case outraged over sentencing

WORCESTER, Mass. — The mother of a 20-year-old killed last year at a crosswalk in Worcester is speaking out after a judge sentenced the driver of that car with only probation. That mother says her daughter was robbed of justice.

Gabriella Lowell was killed last June, nearly a year later there’s still signs remembering the 20-year-old at the site of her death. On Wednesday the driver of the vehicle that killed her was sentenced in court.

Her mother told Boston 25 that the leniency from the judge made her feel like her daughter was killed all over again.

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"She got no justice," said Alyson Lowell, the victim's mother. "He got away with murder."

Twenty-one-year-old Tyler Hamilton told police he was texting before he hit and killed Gabriella at the Grafton Street crosswalk in Worcester around 9 p.m. on a 2018 summer night. Prosecutors asked for jail time.

However, a judge sentenced Hamilton to four years of probation and 500 hours of community service.

"It felt like she was killed all over again," Lowell said. "I felt like I got the news that she died all over again."

Gabriella's mother says she needed to see Hamilton behind bars and pay the consequences for his actions.

"It was a choice, that's why I'm so angry," she said. "He made a choice to pick up his phone. His mother made a choice to text him."

Hamilton's lawyer, Padraic Rafferty, gave a statement to Boston 25 News.

This incident was an absolute tragedy.  My client has been devastated from the moment it happened.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Lowell family.

Lowell says her daughter was full of love and life.

"It was always the Gabby show," she said. "She made everybody laugh.

"She loved to sing, dance. Music was her passion and she loved clothes and fashion."

Lowell has become an advocate for hands-free driving laws. She says she'll fight to make vehicular homicide a felony in Massachusetts.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to have my daughter’s name stay alive and not make her death go in vain," she said.

Even during the day, it's hard for cars to notice somebody crossing the Grafton Street crosswalk. Gabriella's mother told Boston 25 that she also wants to get lights there and call them, 'Gabriella's lights.'