Woman sentenced to State Prison for driving SUV into crowd - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Woman sentenced to State Prison for driving SUV into crowd

Thomas (provided by Albany PD) Thomas (provided by Albany PD)
Scene of the accident on August 16, 2013 (NEWS10 ABC) Scene of the accident on August 16, 2013 (NEWS10 ABC)

ALBANY, N.Y. – A woman who pleaded guilty to 3 count of Assault in the 1st Degree after driving into a group of people was sentenced Thursday.

Shanikqua Thomas, 28, has been sentenced to 18 years in State Prison, the maximum sentence for her felony charges. The judge also signed an order of protection for the victims.

Emotions were running high in the courtroom Thursday while the prosecution read the victim impact statements. Thomas began weeping and had to be escorted out of the courtroom to compose herself.

Thomas had an opportunity to address the courtroom and told the judge she's remorseful and is sorry for what she's done. She went onto say she overreacted and apologizes to the families, friends and children that were involved in the incident.

One of the victims, Martha Royal, said "For [Thomas] to come along and strike me with that SUV on my right side, it totally messed me up. My walking, sleeping, laying. There are times I want to do things because I can't. But I'm not going to let that stop me."

Thomas pleaded guilty to her charges in October. Those charges stem from an incident that took place on August 19, 2013 in Albany.

Thomas was involved in an argument on Elk Street on a Monday afternoon.  During the argument, Thomas entered her SUV, got into the driver's seat, and drove in reverse toward the group of people.

Six people were struck, three of which had serious physical injuries.

The victims, all females ages 19, 22, 25, 40, 48, and 52, were treated at the scene by medical personnel and taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. One victim suffered from a fractured hip, fractured leg, and a punctured lung.

After striking the victims with her car, Thomas fled the scene on foot. She was arrested shortly after and sent to the Albany County Jail.

According to court documents, Thomas has a history of criminal activity in Albany. In November 2011 she was arrested after she threw a brick at a business, breaking three windows; in June 2012 she used a BB gun to break two windows; and on  August 6th she allegedly stole over $600 worth of hair products and broke three windows.

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