(CNN) – So far, the government confirms 24 people have died because of General Motors’ defective ignition switch and that number is expected to rise.
Mikale Erickson is one of those people killed. For the past ten years, his girlfriend has been known as a felon because of the crash, but now she’s working to get her record clean and put the blame on GM.
Candice Anderson, GM crash victim said, “The past 10 years I have been in a form of a prison.” For a decade, Anderson believed she was responsible for the death of her boyfriend, Mikale Erickson. He was her first love.
Candice was behind the wheel when her brand new 2004 Saturn ion crashed into a tree on this east Texas country road. She pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide. Only this year a decade later, she learned it may not have been all her fault.
The police report says neither was wearing a seatbelt. TheThe airbags did not deploy. After the crash, Xanax was found in Candice’s system. She was not prescribed the drug but says she had taken one pill the night before. The police report says Candice’s intoxication resulted in the accident.
She was indicted on a felony charge of intoxication manslaughter, facing up to 20 years in prison. She accepted a plea deal, and served 5 years probation. But today the felony is still on her record.
Just this year though GM recalled millions of cars for a defective ignition switch. Candice’s car was one of those. Regulators count Mikale Erickson’s death among those caused by the defective switch. Anderson said, “I am fighting for my justice. I want vindication.”
GM CEO Mary Barra has apologized to victims and their families. This year GM admitted people within the company knew of the deadly defect for years, but didn’t fix it. Now, Candice’s fight is to get the conviction off her record and she’s got some in Washington on her side.