DUI suspect's family issues apology to Shaela Warkentin

FRESNO, Calif.

The 68-year-old was arrested for being under the influence when he crashed his truck into the car carrying Shaela Warkentin and two other girls. Shaela has been in intensive care ever since.

After Fresno Police announced Lindsey's DUI arrest, Action News went to his Northwest Fresno home hoping to learn his side of the story.

Lindsey and his wife, Kathy, did not want to be interviewed on camera, but off camera Lindsey's wife provided some insight about the events leading up to that crash.

Kathy Lindsey acknowledged her husband was under the influence of a prescription pain killer the night of the crash. She says he has battled pain for ten years, after he suffered a back injury. Kathy describes his decision to drive that night as "a bad judgment call that is now affecting two families, we're sorry this happened."

"It's good to hear that they are sorry, and I accept her apology, absolutely," said Ken Warkentin, Shaela's father. He told Action News he feels empathy for the Lindsey family.

"I just want them to know I have asked a lot of the people that are supporting us in prayer to also pray for their family," Warkentin said. "I know it must be hard."

On March 8, Lindsey's pick-up truck slammed into the green car Shaela was riding in. The car was parked at a red light in Northwest Fresno. Two other young girls were in the car.

"I do not believe that he intended to, I don't think anybody would intend to inflict this kind of harm," Warkentin said.

Thursday, the Warkentin family stood alongside Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer as he announced the arrest of Douglas Lindsey, based on a toxicology report that had just come back.

"When the blood tests came back it reflected high levels of being under the influence of vicodin," Chief Jerry Dyer said.

While Lindsey prepares for a court appearance later this month, Shaela remains in a hospital bed and doctors say she may never see again. The Warkentins say, thanks in part to public support, they're getting by. So is Shaela, Ken said. Thursday was finally a good day for her.

"She's giggly and laughy and being sarcastic and completely being Shaela," Warkentin said. "And the last couple days that wasn't there. She was in intense pain."

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