“That night is always on my mind and I’m so sorry for what happened,” said grandmother Cherrie White. “I wish I could go back and change everything, but I cannot.”
Cherrie, 65, was working at the Boeing aircraft plant in Wichita, Kan., and going through a messy divorce when she had a few drinks on the way home on Oct. 23, 1981, and slammed into a car carrying Kirstie’s parents.
The actress’s mother, Lillian Maxine, nicknamed “Mickie,” was thrown from the vehicle and died. Her now 95-year-old father, Bob, was badly injured but recovered.
According to court records, Cherrie pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to one year in the county jail and rehab.
Years later, when a third party asked whether Kirstie would meet with Cherrie, she refused.
“I can understand why Kirstie doesn’t want to talk with me,” admitted Cherrie, a retiree who’s now sober and living in Arlington, Texas.
“But if she changed her mind, I would tell Kirstie and her father how truly sorry I am for what happened that night and the pain that I caused them.”