Utah man sentenced to one day in jail after young girl killed in crash, victim’s family offers forgiveness

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PROVO, Utah -- The family of a young girl killed in a crash spoke on behalf of the driver as he was sentenced to one day in jail, community service and probation Thursday.

Rick Winder was charged with negligent homicide in the death of Chelsea Parkinson.

The 2.5-year-old child died April 15 when a Pleasant Grove utility truck driven by Winder rear-ended a vehicle at a stop light.

Thursday Winder was sentenced to 400 hours of community service and 24 months probation. He was also sentenced to one day in jail, but with credit for time already served he will not spend any more time in jail.

Parkinson's family spoke on Winder's behalf during the sentencing, saying they forgive him and do not want to see him behind bars.

"We’re glad we could come and say what we wanted to say and tell Rick again that we love him and we’re sad that this happened," Reed Parkinson, Chelsea's father, said. "We miss our daughter, but we knew further punishment for him would not help us. It wouldn’t make us feel any better. It wouldn’t give us any more justice."

Reed Parkinson said it took them some time to feel this way about the crash.

"This has been a process," he said. "We miss our daughter of course so much, but we realize that Rick is a real person and he’s a human being. It took a little while to realize that, but once we did we were able to forgive him."

Winder expressed remorse in court, saying there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't wish he could take Chelsea's place. Both families cried and hugged one another after the proceeding concluded.

Winder was arrested in May for the crash. 

Police previously stated Winder told them he was distracted prior to the crash because he was giving his girlfriend a kiss. The man also tested positive for oxycodone after the incident.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

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