BEREA, Ohio — Only a FOX 8 I-Team camera rolled as a 77-year-old driver faced a judge for hitting and killing an eight-year-old girl, and the I-Team asked the question still never answered—how did it happen?
A judge in Berea Municipal Court gave Gloria Bartek 15 days in jail to be served around the anniversary of the crash each year.
The judge also suspended her driver’s license for five years, gave her a $500 fine, plus probation.
Not nearly enough for those who came looking to see justice for Khloe.
Last September, Bartek barreled across a church parking lot, across a busy road, and then she hit and killed Khloe Nida as she was taking milk into the house.
Brook Park police video just released to the I-Team shows, for the first time, the frantic scene. As police pulled up, witnesses waved an officer toward the little girl. A firetruck can be seen racing to the scene, and an ambulance crew quickly rushed with medical equipment to where it all happened.
Bartek pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of negligent vehicular homicide.
At sentencing Monday, Khloe’s parents and a line of others stepped up to describe how she was a special child in countless ways.
Her mother said, “Khloe was my best friend. We literally did everything together. She was everything to me.”
Her father said, “Gloria had choices. And she could never hit a brake, put her car in neutral, or even honk her horn.”
Others remarked how the driver seems to show no remorse.
In fact, Bartek spoke briefly. She said, ” I understand what the family’s going through.” But she never made an apology.
From the start, the question at the heart of this has been how did this happen? Brook Park police said, ‘Don’t blame the car.’ They hired experts to check out the car. That investigation found no mechanical problems.
As Bartek left court, the I-Team asked her how it happened. Her attorney jumped in and said she wouldn’t be answering. The attorney did the same thing when we asked why there was no apology.
Judge Mark Comstock said sometimes there’s “never enough” when issuing sentences.
The maximum in this case would have been six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Bartek’s attorney said she had never even had a traffic ticket before this.
The judge said he tried to consider the arguments from all sides.
Nonetheless, many of those who’d come to support Khloe left disgusted.
Meantime, her family is pursuing a civil lawsuit. Attorney Craig Bashein has said a central focus of that will be determining exactly what went wrong.