NewsChannel 3 Investigations uncovered two car accident cases that involved underage drinking and driving. Both ended in the deaths of two Virginia Beach High School Students.
Chris Pardee was killed after police say he fell into the road while car surfing, and Cameron Crockett was convicted after police say he drove drunk and crashed his car, killing his best friend Jack Korte.
One is a victim and the other is a convicted felon. Now both families are standing together.
“As that parent of the child lost, you still want justice,” said Diane Pardee, who sat with Crockett’s family in his Court of Appeals hearing Tuesday, because she says there are striking similarities between how police handled both cases.
“There were issues that weren’t addressed immediately that night, at scene. There were inconsistencies after that, people who had come forward, but they were disavowed. They just really wanted to stick with what they found at scene, and that was that,” said Pardee, who feels because of those police missteps, she will never know what really happened to her son Chris.
Pardee now hopes for a different outcome in Cameron Crockett’s appeal case.
A three-judge panel will decide if Crockett gets another trial based on newly discovered evidence, including a new seat belt test, a new overheard confession, and missing witness statements.
All point to the possibility of a third person behind the wheel, challenging the initial police theory in the case.
“When something is brought to our attention that could be considerably important to make a difference, somebody needs to step in and say, “We made a mistake. Something needs to be done about this,’” said Pardee.
Virginia Beach prosecutors, police, as well as the family of Jack Korte still believe to this day that Cameron Crockett was the driver.
But this mother, who lost her son, says sometimes, you need to look past the grief for the truth.
“My heart goes out to the families that lose children, because it matters. That pain doesn’t go away. Chris’ year anniversary was just a couple days ago. Jack’s family feels the same way, but you still can’t let that pain keep the truth from coming forward,” said Pardee.
The Court of Appeals only heard oral arguments today, and will be releasing a decision in the coming weeks.