It was on March 31, 2016 that everything changed for the Hacking family. Courtney Hacking still grieves the loss of her husband, Peter and two children, 4-year-old Ellie and 22-month-old Grayson. All three died on Highway 78 after Margarito Quintero-Rosales crossed into their lane.
Courtney now puts her focus on her four boys as she navigates through football and basketball practices.
"They are my world. Without them I am not me," she said.
Raising boys certainly keeps her busy. That's a good thing when you consider the rest of the time is felt with every emotion.
"I'm angry, I'm confused, and I'm hurt. I feel let down," she said.
Now it's been more than a year since the day that changed her family's life. "I lost a lot that day. I watched my children lose their innocence," she said.
Quintero just last week pleaded guilty and received a two-year sentence. Rosales had already spent more than 500 days in jail and was counted against the sentence.
"How do you look at someone and say 'You killed 3 people, two years is all,'" she said. Courtney feels the justice system failed her.
"I feel awful for her," longtime attorney Todd Shapiro said. "But that's the prescribed maximum sentence for a type of offense of this nature," he said.
Shapiro is not connected to the case and is offering his legal expertise. Rosales faces three counts of criminally negligent homicide. Rosales is also an illegal immigrant, which is a factor that irks Courtney.
Courtney has since reached out to lawmakers like U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe. She is urging lawmakers to enforce the immigration laws currently in place.
"I want to see the law enforced. We have laws in place, and I want to see them enforced," Hacking said.
Courtney says she fears people would label her as a racist. She says Peter was an immigrant from England and went through the proper path to citizenship. She says the pain of losing her husband and two children would be no different had it been a citizen behind the wheel.
"Regardless citizen or non-citizen, all the laws apply the same to everyone in the country," said Shapiro.
In the end, a mother struggles to see justice here. "I feel like I walk around just existing. I'm not happy, and I'm not sad, I'm just here," she said.
It's heartbreaking to hear. Courtney Hacking says she still puts on a smile for her boys because they're all she has left.
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