A 36-year-old woman is accused of hitting and killing a bike rider and then just driving off. In court, she admitted that she didn't see him, has vision problems and was also not wearing her required corrective eyeglasses. The 64-year-old man she killed was a much loved teacher and coach at St. Francis DeSales school in the Delaware, Ohio area.
She came to court in a wheelchair, indicating that she had lost her lower left leg to an amputation that occurred before the car accident. She also stated that she currently suffers from depression and diabetes. She pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of the accident, as well as a charge of involuntary manslaughter. She had previously said that she had thought that she had hit a mailbox.
Others later found her victim's body lying lifeless in a soybean field adjacent to the Miller-Paul Road. He was well-known and active in the community of bicycling enthusiasts in the central area of Ohio. He was employed for four decades at the school, teaching and coaching succeeding generations of students. Prior to his death, he had retirement plans on the horizon after a lifetime of hard, dedicated work and community service.
The driver was on her way to some sort of a study group. She varied her story, telling members of the group she had come late because she encountered a log that came off a truck but later confiding to her parents that she thought she hit a deer. Another variation of the story was that she had an accident involving a mailbox. News reports indicated that the she had been involved in a number of other car crashes before. In one of these incidents, she hit another individual riding alongside the road. That victim did suffer injuries, but the injuries were not fatal.
Criminal charges, along with lawsuits for wrongful death, are very much needed to both punish reckless drivers who injure and kill innocent people. Hopefully, it will also deter others from acting in a callous manner, including driving when they plainly should not have been.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Driver in cyclist’s hit-skip death is amputee with bad eyesight" Laura Arenschield, Dec. 17, 2013