KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A driver who hit and killed a Western Michigan University student in 2021 is headed to a state prison.
Hunter Hudgins was sentenced Monday to three to 15 years in prison. He received credit for two days served. He will have to pay various fines and fees.
In April of this year, a jury convicted Hudgins of operating under the influence or while impaired by liquor causing death and having a BAC of .02 to .07% while under the age of 21. He was acquitted of a moving violation causing death.
In court, Broderick’s mother Colleen Broderick asked the judge to impose the longest sentence possible and called Hudgins a murderer.
“Hunter spent last summer in Chicago. He’s had two birthdays, a lot of holidays with his family, and earlier this season he went to spring break in Florida. Bailey didn’t get any of that,” Colleen Broderick said. “He took my baby’s life. He took the light out of our lives and he took it away. Hunter has totally destroyed our lives. He has ensured that we live the rest of our lives in pain, tears and constant yearning for a daughter that should be here. God did not decide it was Bailey’s time, Hunter did. How dare he!”
She mourned the life milestones her daughter will never experience: graduation, marriage and having her own children.
“She doesn’t get to have all that,” Colleen Broderick said. “Hunter Hudgins took all that away from us because he had to drink and rive.”
Hudgins apologized to Broderick’s family, saying it was clear she was loved by all who knew her, that he “never intended to”never intended for this tragic accident to take place” and that he wishes he could change it.
“To Bailey’s family, I understand the hatred you guys may have for me, but I hope one day you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me,” he said, crying, before learning his sentence. “I truly am remorseful and am so sorry. I made a mistake by drinking and driving. I never would agree drinking and driving is a good thing, no matter the amount. It is a mistake I have learned from and I will never drink and drive again. I will share this story with my peers so that they never make the same mistake. I am so sorry to everyone involved.”
In announcing the sentence, Kalamazoo County Judge Paul Bridenstine acknowledged that Hudgins has no previous criminal history and abided by his bond conditions. But he also emphasized that it was Hudgins’ actions that caused Broderick’s death.
“While I agree with you that you never intended to cause harm, this was not an ‘accident,'” Bridenstine said. “This was a violent, avoidable collision. You intended to drink alcohol. You intended to drive. You intended to speed up that road in a heavy pedestrian area that night. And the jury — none one, not two, but 12 people — unanimously agreed it was an avoidable collision and not an accident.”
He said the crash resulted in the “incalculable” loss of Broderick’s life and the loss of potential in the years of Hudgins will be in prison. He challenged Hudgins to live the rest of his life as the best possible version of himself and always honor the best possible version of Broderick’s life.
Hudgins was led away in handcuffs.