FROSTPROOF, Fla. – Nearly four years after authorities say Daniel Lightsey caused a fatal crash while reaching for his cell phone, the driver has finally completed his court-ordered community service, court records show.
In April, a News 6 investigation revealed that Lightsey had failed to perform any of the 120 hours of community service ordered by a judge as part of Lightsey's sentence for careless driving, a non-criminal traffic citation.
The daughter of crash victim Martha Jackson expressed frustration that Lightsey had seemingly avoided his punishment for years after the November 2015 collision that claimed the 76-year-old's life.
"No one should have to go through the loss of a family member and then have to make sure that the person who took them pays the penalty for that," Marcia Waldron said in April. “And this is a pathetic penalty.”
Weeks after the News 6 report aired, Lightsey began volunteering at New Hope Church, court records show.
"He has been a very hard worker and has accumulated 120 hours of volunteer service here," wrote Lead Pastor Landon McAllister. "Daniel did various jobs including mowing, weed-eating, cleaning, organizing and much more."
Lightsey completed his community service requirement on Aug. 23, according to court records.
"I'm just totally shocked, and yet pleased and sad all at the same time," said Waldron after News 6 informed her that Lightsey's sentence was complete. "I hope that something in his life changes, because truly he has changed mine."
Lightsey did not immediately respond to a voicemail left by News 6 at a phone number once associated with him.
Under Florida law, if someone fails to comply with a civil penalty from a traffic citation, the county court clerk is required to notify the state to suspend the offender's driving privileges.
However, a News 6 investigation earlier this year revealed that a computer error led to Lightsey's driver's license remaining valid even though he had not yet completed his community service.
Following inquiries by News 6, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles began the process of suspending Lightsey's driving privileges until he completed his sentence.
It was not immediately clear from court records whether Lightsey has formally requested his driver's license to be reinstated now that his community service requirement is fulfilled.