The woman, Grayson Dawson, has now spoken publicly for the first time. Her version is certainly more sympathetic than the cold hard facts. Decide for yourself whether her story is credible. The real problem with her story is that she cannot recall what happened because she claims to have had a black-out caused by a combination of anti-seizure, antidepressant and pain medications.
After leaving a relative's home, she went "totally blank.”
Her attorney, Locke Clifford, was apparently able to fill in the blanks for her:
Dawson leaves her daughter’s house heading north to Eden. She falls asleep at the wheel — Clifford blames this on heavy medication — and veers into the other lane, hitting Sherman head-on. Dawson is on several anti-seizure and antidepressant medications, which combined with pain medication can increase the risk of sleepiness, according to drug label warnings.
She turns around, thinking she hit a deer. She can’t find anything, Clifford says, because Sherman has been thrown 40 feet from the road and his bike, split in two, lay 17 feet away in the growing dusk.
Dawson resumes her trip home.
“Since she didn’t see what she’d hit, she assumed it was a deer,” Clifford says.
She said she didn’t know something was wrong until two days later, when police and sheriff’s deputies swarmed her property, cordoning off the area around her damaged SUV.
“I had not watched the news. I didn’t know anything about a cyclist being killed on the road I had driven,” she says. “I was so sure I had hit a deer.”
Here's the link to the News-Record story.
I sent a note to my state senator, Josh Stein, requesting that he look into sentencing in cases like this.
Note: Vance's note below refers to other moving violations Dawson has had. They don't help her much on the sympathy front. From the earlier News-Record article:
Court records show that Dawson has charges pending from June 2007 of failure to appear in court on charges of driving with no operator’s license, having no insurance, speeding and driving the wrong way on a two-lane road.
She pleaded guilty in July 2003 to driving without an operator’s license; she paid fines and court costs. Dawson also was charged with driving left of center but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of improper equipment.