Victim to accused drunk driver: "We got punished for this longer - KPTV - FOX 12

Victim to accused drunk driver: 'We got punished for this longer than he will'

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland man pleaded guilty to assault, drunk driving and reckless endangering for his role in a crash that critically injured a newlywed couple.

Michael Allen changed his plea Thursday afternoon in a Multnomah County Courtroom. Police said he was high on marijuana and drunk when he crashed into Merita and Bashkim Abazi on Aug. 30 last year.

According to court documents, it was his fourth arrest on DUII charges.

The young couple was using the crosswalk on Southeast Division Street at 142nd Avenue when they were hit.

The couple, married two months at the time of the crash, suffered traumatic injuries and spent weeks recovering in the hospital.

"We got punished for this longer than he will," Merita Abazi said in court. "Whatever time he gets in jail or on probation, it's going to stop ending there. But our problems are going to last for the rest of our lives."

Merita Abazi told the courtroom she and her husband have had multiple surgeries.

The right side of her skull was shattered and won't grow back. Her husband had to use a feeding tube for weeks and still cannot bend his legs.

"I hope this opens his eyes to what this kind of thing does to people," she said.

Allen looked through photos of the couple recovering in the hospital. He apologized to the couple and their families.

"This will never happen again. I feel really bad about this and I've been thinking about it ever since it happened," he said. "I've been having restless nights and it still bugs me to this day. I never intended to hurt anybody and I'm sorry it happened to you guys, so if you find it in your hearts to forgive me."

Allen has remained very concerned about the victims since the crash and knows he made a mistake, his fiancé told Fox 12.

"He doesn't have a mean bone in his body," said Michelle Wray, Allen's fiancé.

Allen will be sentenced March 7.

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