Governor Ducey signs 'Pam's Law' to increase penalties for serious crashes

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 10:14:16-04

Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill late Monday afternoon that increases the penalties for car crashes involving serious injuries or death.

It's being referred to as "Pam's Law," named after a Valley mom Pamela Hesselbacher. 

Hesselbacher was killed while trying to cross the street with her two small children at Ray Road and College Avenue in Chandler back in November of 2016. Her two children had critical injuries. 

The driver, William Epperlein, says he didn't see the red light. 

Through what the governor calls "poorly drafted laws," Epperlein was able to walk away with a slap on the hand and served no prison time. Hesselbacher's family has been on a mission to change Arizona's laws since the 2016 crash. 

"What happened to Pamela wasn't right, but that should never stop us from making it right for others," said Jody Kieran, Pamela's mother.

Through Pam's Law, the loopholes and penalties are increased which kept Epperlein in the clear, despite having a suspended license and multiple prior DUI's. 


Pam's Law increases penalties for car crashes that cause serious physical injury or deaths. 

Courts will also be able to suspend driving privileges for 180 days instead of up to 90 days for violations that result in injury, and up to a year instead of 180 days for violations that result in death. It also increases a cap on restitution from $10,000 to $100,000. 

"A lot of people have asked me if this law is a vindication of my daughter's death and it's not," Kieran said while fighting back tears. "I'm doing what my daughter would expect."