PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Sunday, October 20, 2013, Tersia Theel was preparing her home on Washington’s coast for a visit with her 11-year-old daughter, Abigail. Then the phone rang.
“The second I answered the phone and heard Tom’s voice, I pretty much lost it,” she told KOIN 6 News. She knew what it was like to lose a child. Her first born daughter died in a car crash nearly 20 years ago.
She and Abigail’s dad shared custody and they watched her grow into a mature tween. Abigail spent time with her mother and stepbrother in Washington, but lived with her family in Forest Grove.
In the days after Abigail and her sister, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, were killed in a hit-and-run crash in front of their home, their entire family was overwhelmed by emotion.
“I just wanted somebody caught,” Theel said.
But as the details of the crash became more clear, Theel said she has forgiven the driver, Cynthia Garcia-Cisneros — as has her stepmother, Susan Dieter-Eckerdt.
Garcia-Cisneros, 19, was given credit for time served and put on three years probation.
“No matter what, it was it was an accident. I don’t blame her. I don’t even blame totally blame her for what she did afterwards,” Theel said.
Cisneros will head to Tacoma for immigration hearings and could be deported.
“She seems like a good person who I hope can get on with her life,” Theel said. “Abigail would have forgiven her because that’s the kind of kid she was.”