A 38-year-old Riverside woman pleaded guilty today in a hit-and-run crash that killed a cyclist on Jamboree Road in December 2009, according to a statement issued this afternoon by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
The woman was convicted of one felony count of hit and run with permanent death or injury, one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury, the statement said. The woman is expected to be sentenced to three years in state prison at her sentencing scheduled for March 11.
The woman was accused of driving a Saturn SUV northbound on Jamboree Road in the far right lane about 6 a.m. Dec. 9.
“The victim, Donald Murphy, was riding his bicycle along the curb behind two of his friends,” the statement said. The woman drifted towards the curb and hit Murphy from behind, causing him to be thrown from his bicycle to the curb. Murphy had no pulse and was unconscious, but the woman didn’t stop. Rather, she fled the scene, “dragging the victim’s bicycle under her car for over a mile before stopping in a Coco’s Bakery Restaurant parking lot,” the statement said. A witness there called 911, and the woman remained in her parked car until police arrived and found her in the parking lot.
The woman took prescription medications including Methadone, Hydromorphone, and Clonezepam, which impaired her driving, the statement said.
Murphy, 49, was transported to Western Medical Center and died a day later due to severe head and neck injuries caused by the crash.
Read our earlier story here.