Woman guilty in hit-run death of bicyclist

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Personal Injury News

Article Date: 2/2/2011 | Resource: MLG

Woman guilty in hit-run death of bicyclist

“Personal Injury Lawyers, Wrongful Death Lawyers, Orange County CA “

A Riverside woman has been convicted in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Newport Beach while under the influence of prescription drugs.

Patricia Ann Izquieta, 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of hit and run with death or permanent 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, prosecutors said.

She is expected to be sentenced to three years in state prison on March 11.

Izquieta was under the influence of prescription drugs when the Saturn SUV she was driving struck Donald Murphy from behind while he was bicycling with two friends on Jamboree Road on Dec. 9, 2009, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

After hitting Murphy, who was riding along the curb, Izquieta fled the scene, dragging Murphy’s bicycle under her car for more than a mile before stopping in a parking lot, prosecutors said.

Izquieta was taking medications including methadone and clonazepam, which impaired her driving, they said.

Murphy, 49, of Irvine, died a day after the crash due to severe head and neck injuries. Following the incident, Murphy’s family issued a statement forgiving Izquieta, saying she did nothing intentionally wrong.

“It is important for everyone to also understand that, just like Don would have done, the young lady charged with this terrible accident has been forgiven by the family,” the 2009 statement said. “The family believes that there was no malice on her part and would like for all of you to also pray for her, so that we could find peace within her and God for what happened.”

Murphy, a husband and father of two, was a civil engineer and had firm Christian faith that made him a “pretty motivated guy to help others,” his brother, John Murphy, told the Register in an interview. Much of his spare time was spent at halfway houses where he helped people find sobriety.

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Jeffrey Marquart