BARROW COUNTY, Ga. -- Nichole Faith Allen was driving on Highway 82 near Winder when she was caught in the middle of a police chase. A fugitive hit her head-on and she lost her unborn baby, 18 weeks into her pregnancy, because of the crash. It was her first child.
11Alive reached out to Nichole last night.
She said, in part, "Losing our son, Rhett, is something we will never get over, and the fact that I had to have a hysterectomy because of the crash makes it even harder. I can never carry a child again. But with the support of our friends, family and community, we will get through this."
Police said the suspect, Aubrey Franklin Arnold, should have never been on the road.
"This guy defines recidivist," said Bartow County Sheriff Jud Smith. "He should have been in jail."
Sheriff Smith said Arnold was wanted in two counties for felony probation violations.
It was in neighboring Jackson County, in 2006, where Arnold was sentenced to 10 years probation for theft, as well as one year probation for battery; he was also fined $1,000 for reckless driving. More on his past, here.
"The young lady asked… what did I do wrong? She didn't do anything wrong," Smith said.
He said sometimes the system just fails.
The initial charges against Arnold include DUI, aggravated assault on a police officer, and feticide by vehicle.
The Allens' friends set up a GoFundMe for Nicole and her husband, Brian.
She and Brian had just opened a candle shop in downtown Winder, across from the Barrow County Courthouse. Others are trying to keep the shop going while she recuperates.
Here's her statement to us:
"Brian and I are truly grateful for everyone in our family and community who have come together and supported us through this tragedy. Losing our son, Rhett, is something we will never get over, and the fact that I had to have a hysterectomy because of the crash makes it even harder. I can never carry a child again. But with the support of our friends, family and community, we will get through this. It will just take one day at a time."