Reckless driver apologizes to victim 30 years later

By: Melissa Toupin

mtoupin@abc6.com

It's a familiar scene for Michael Faria. He was back in court Thursday, 29 years after being convicted of reckless driving. This time, he was charged with drunk driving.

Police say he hit a parked car in Portsmouth three weeks ago, and then fled the scene.

Back in 1983 Faria caused a crash that left then 9-year-old Meredith Coffey with a permanent traumatic brain injury, forever changing her and her families lives.

The Coffeys were in the Newport courtroom as Faria changed his plea from not guilty, to no contest in this latest case.

Afterwards, Faria approached Meredith, now 38-years-old, and offered an apology.

“I've waiting 29 years to say I'm sorry,” Faria told reporters outside the courthouse. “I made a mistake 29 years ago, and I made another one now, and I'm sorry.”

“It just meant a lot to me when he said 'I'm sorry',” said Meredith Coffey.

The family says whether or not the apology was sincere doesn't matter as much as the fact that Faria made the effort. Now, they say, they can move on.

“It was nice to finally get something,” said Meredith's father, Neil Coffey. “He accepted his responsibilities and he finally came forward and said something.”

Faria will be scented September 6th.