Local musician speaks out after getting hit by drunk driver in Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV)-- A woman will spend nine years behind bars for driving while drunk and seriously hurting a local musician.

Mike Elmore

The crash happened last year when Tara Studer slammed into parked cars and the unsuspecting pedestrian.

On Tuesday, Studer pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, DUI, and attempted escape.

The victim, John "Mike" Elmore, now gets around with a walker and prosthetic leg. He was the person who was his that July day when he was unloading his van for a music gig.

He says it's not about the time Studer serves, it's about rehabilitation.

"I lost a body part that is key to making all that happen … life changed drastically," Elmore said.

It's hard for him to go back and relive the day.

"I have my days -- I'm not always bright and cheery," he said. "Because the reality of this is difficult, and I have moments where it is more difficult than others."

On Tuesday, Elmore spoke to the courtroom and detailed what his life has been like in the past seven months. Soon after, Tara Studer broke down in tears as she apologized to Elmore.

"I have said repeatedly that I am not going to hold anger in my heart towards her about this event because it's just not a space that I want to live in," Elmore explained. "I don't want that to me and I don't want to be that guy."

The judge commended Elmore's grace and strength, but also scolded Studer for her "disturbing" actions. Elmore is doing better, still recovering from the numerous injuries he sustained, including an amputated leg, leg fracture, broken ribs, broken vertebrae, and more. He is looking forward to moving on--without hate in his heart.

"I've said to friends and others, that if one day in prison was enough, then that would be enough," he said when asked if he was happy about the sentence. "Nine years in prison: Well, if that's what it takes for her, then I hope she comes out a different person."

Studer has two previous DUIs stemming from 2009 and 2010.