Tavina Cox, at her family's home in Stone Mountain, Friday, September 2, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. -- On Tuesday, Tavina Cox received something that took more than a year to get: a heartfelt apology.
Last August, Cox had just made it off the bus in her wheelchair to cross the intersection at Marietta and Bolton Roads in Northwest Atlanta, when James Raper hit her with his truck.
Raper called 9-1-1 to report the accident, but then hung up and drove away when the operator asked for more information.
When arrested four days later, police say Raper tried to blame the accident on another vehicle. But on Wednesday, before accepting the charges against him in court, Raper apologized to Cox.
"It was great to hear. That's what I really wanted from him, was a sincere apology," said Cox after the hearing.
Cox, who has cerebral palsy, admits she's had a tough time putting the accident behind her, especially considering that until now, Raper has failed to take responsibility for the accident. Cox still takes the bus to work, but her mother, Catherine Godlock, says she uses a different route to avoid that intersection.
"She's very afraid, emotional, to even go through there so she takes the other bus route, goes along the long way. It's just a lot of adjustments on her part and sometimes she still cries," said Godlock.
Raper was ordered to pay Cox $2,700 for repairs to her wheelchair. He must also pay $500 in court fines before he can get off probation, which right now is set for one year. Raper did not wish to comment on the case.