PDT Staff Writer
A judge in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas sentenced a Scioto County woman to 60 days in jail Monday after she was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident that killed a man in 2008.
Sara Bender, 36, of Lucasville, was charged in the death of Dr. William Crowley, 57, a Northville, Mich. physician, during the Tour of the Scioto River Valley on May 11, 2008.
Crowley was riding along U.S. 23 near Piketon and was traveling north in the right lane at around 7:50 a.m. when his bicycle was struck from behind by a 2005 GMC Envoy, driven by Bender. She then reportedly left the scene but returned and told the investigating officer she thought she had struck a sign.
Bender was found guilty on May 6 for failure to stop after an accident, but the jury ruled that they “do not find that the violation resulted in death to a person.” With this special finding, the verdict was reduced from a felony to a first-degree misdemeanor.
If the original third-degree felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident had prevailed, it could have resulted in one to five years in prison. Under the reduced misdemeanor charge, Bender could have received up to six months in jail.
Bender will report to the Ross County Jail to begin her 60-day sentence on June 26. She was also fined $1,000.
Crowley’s widow, Mary Crowley, told The Columbus Dispatch she thought Bender’s sentence was a slap on the wrist.
The Pike County Prosecutor was unavailable to comment on Monday.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail email@example.com.