Family of man killed in DUI case hopes driver will take responsibility

Published: Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 p.m. MDT

A police officer takes a report from the driver of the van who hit a pedestrian on 1100 East near 3900 South in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 7, 2013. The driver, 20-year-old Ashton Lee Godfrey, was charged Friday with automobile homicide and driving with a measurable controlled substance in the body and causing death.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a man killed by a suspected DUI driver says it doesn’t know if the man accused of the crime knows the consequences of his alleged actions.

Larry Madison died after being struck March 7 on 1100 East near 3850 South. Charging documents said a southbound van veered into the northbound lanes, then into the shoulder of the road, striking Madison.

His son, Chris Madison, said Tuesday that his father paid a price because of the driver’s actions.

“I don’t know if he understands the ramifications of everything he’s been doing or not,” Madison said. “I would hope so. I would hope he would come to that realization at some point.”

The driver, Ashton Lee Godfrey, 20, was charged last week with automobile homicide and driving with a measurable controlled substance in the body and causing death. Both counts are second-degree felonies, though prosecutors said they likely plan to pursue only one or the other.

“We would hope that he takes responsibility for his actions,” Madison said.

He said the family isn’t necessarily pushing for the harshest penalties against Godfrey if convicted, but he said they want him to pay for what happened.

“It affected a lot of people because (Larry Madison) was in a lot of people’s lives,” the younger Madison said.

The 64-year-old Madison left behind a wife and seven children. His son said his father’s only hobbies were walking and jogging, and helping others.

“He lived for his family first, and then those around him,” Madison said. “It’s, I think, been especially hard on my mom because she’d been planning on moving into the golden years with my dad.”

Godfrey was also charged with three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, three misdemeanor counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a restricted person, and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia

Charging documents showed Godfrey’s blood tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine. Investigators said they discovered meth, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, alcohol, a loaded gun and three knives along with scales in the van Godfrey was driving.

“This is multiple charges, multiple felonies, a very serious issue for us from a prosecutorial perspective,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said.

Larry Madison’s family, left with an irreparable loss, has been trying to come to terms with the tragedy for the past 2 ½ months.

“It’s a process to try and live without someone you probably thought you’d have in your life for a long time,” Chris Madison said.

He said the charges alone offer some solace for family members who have always maintained Larry Madison was walking in a safe manner along the road.

“He was 100 percent the victim in this,” he said. “He was on the side of the road doing everything he could to be safe.”

The suddenness of the loss, he said, is a lesson to everyone: “Just cherish the time you have with your loved ones, because you don’t know how long it is.”

Email: aadams@deseretnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS