Kelvin Earl Mackie, 41, received a 12-year sentence for two counts of first-degree assault. Mackie, who entered a guilty plea, appeared before Talladega County Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth. A request for probation was denied.
Allen said he and his family were satisfied with Mackie’s sentencing, adding that they never wanted anything other than what was fair.
“It feels good to have closure somewhat,” Allen said. “We were happy with the way the (Talladega County District Attorney’s) office handled it.”
Since the accident, Allen has been on a two-year journey toward recovery, with the support of his family, the Police Department and the community behind him.
He underwent multiple surgeries as well as physical therapy for internal injuries, a shattered pelvis and other broken bones suffered during the accident. His most recent surgery, and what he hopes was the last, repaired five hernias in his abdomen that resulted from a previous surgery.
Allen has completed physical therapy, but still experiences nerve damage on his right side that keeps him on limited duty at the Police Department. Doctors say he has reached the maximum medical improvement, but Allen is not convinced.
“I’m not all the way there, but I’d like to fully recover,” he said. “We’re hoping for that.”
Allen has been able to resume one of his favorite activities, however — he’s back on the golf course.
“Golf has been a source of relaxation and stress management for Tommy for a long time, and it was one of the things he lost in the crash,” Police Chief Chris Carden said. “I wouldn’t say his game is back 100 percent, but he is well on his way.”
Carden remembered taking Allen to a golf tournament held in his honor while he was still in a wheelchair, one of many fundraising efforts arranged by the community in the weeks and months after the accident. Allen said community support, as well as that of his wife, Dina, and family, has helped immensely throughout the healing process.
“The community support has been outstanding since day one, and it’s never stopped,” he said.
Carden recalled just how far Allen has come since the moment he arrived at the scene of the crash.
“In my mind, it seems like just yesterday that Dina and I were sitting at UAB,” Carden said. “It was very important for Dina to see him before he went back for surgery, because the prognosis was very uncertain. There was definitely a period of time it appeared he wasn’t going to make it. That was a reality his family and colleagues were facing.”
In the early hours of July 5, 2010, the driver’s side of a police cruiser driven by Allen was struck by Mackie’s car at the intersection of Fort Williams Street and U.S. 280.
An investigation by the Alabama Department of Public Safety revealed Mackie was traveling east in the westbound lane of U.S. 280 and was under the influence of alcohol.
Allen, who doesn’t remember the wreck or the days following, was in critical condition, and Mackie was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
After months of surgeries and therapy, Allen returned to work and has since served as training coordinator at the department.
“We’re very proud of him,” Carden said.
As for how it feels to look back on his progress since the accident, Allen’s answer is simple: “It feels good.”
“I don’t know how else to explain it,” he said. “It beats the alternative. It could’ve been worse.”