Family seeking justice after woman in her 70s hit by repeat DUI offender

NORTH COVENTRY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A man is accused of driving under the influence when his vehicle collided with another car, sending a woman in her 70s to the hospital in Montgomery County.

He appeared in court on Thursday, while the victim's family demanded justice.

"On behalf of my family, I would just like to ask everyone for their prayers for my mom. God willing she is going to be 75 on the 17th," said Lori Davidson, the daughter of 74-year-old Mary Gatta.

North Coventry Township police say on June 15 she was hit head-on by repeat DUI offender, identified as Andrew Peterson, along South Hanover Street.

"Because of this horrible tragedy, she may never walk again, but we are just grateful that she is alive and with us," said Davidson.

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Police say Peterson crossed over a center line when he slammed into Gatta. In court, detectives say they found an open bottle of liquor in his car.

Investigators say he has three prior convictions of DUI. He is charged with driving under the influence again for the most recent incident.

Investigators say Peterson was also driving on a revoked license.

Gatta's family says he should have never been out on the road. Their mother is now fighting for her life and her loved ones say they are disappointed in the justice system.

"Of course, I think we could always do better with the law especially in Pennsylvania, but things went our way today," said Davidson.

The family found some relief that Peterson won't be getting out of jail anytime soon.

They say they will fight the case until the very end. Their main concern now is the recovery of their mother and the hope that no one else has to feel the pain they are feeling.

"The doctors couldn't believe she survived. I told her, 'You are a miracle mom,' and she said, 'I am?'" recalled Davidson.

Bail remains at $50,000. Peterson's next court date has not been scheduled.
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